Something fortuitous happened to me this week. I had been couponing a little too aggressively and as a result, I ended up with 7 cans of crushed or diced tomatoes on my shelf. I don’t really like stockpiling food, and all these cans of tomatoes were bugging me. Since I don’t really care for pasta dishes, I wasn’t sure how I was going to use up all the tomatoes. I went to AllRecipes to do a search by ingredients for crushed tomatoes when I came up on this recipe for Tomato Basil Soup.
It’s no secret I love tomato soup. But I’ve gotten picky. I don’t really care for the Campbell’s condensed version (although in a pinch, it will do… especially if there is grilled cheese to dunk in it.) My craving is best satiated by Panera’s version – slightly creamy, a little hint of basil, and great tomato chunk texture. This recipe looked like a perfect replica.
I only made a half batch to see if I liked it, and I made a few tweaks by cutting back some of the butter that seemed extraneous. It was so good. I know exactly where the rest of those canned tomatoes are headed.
Here’s the half-batch recipe (made 4 1 cup servings), with my tweaks. You can still see the original in the link above:
- 1 (28 oz) can of crushed tomatoes
- 8 oz chicken broth
- 10 basil leaves, minced**
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 3 T butter
**I didn’t have fresh basil on hand but I had minced, frozen basil on hand. I get it in the freezer section of Harris Teeter. This is the brand I use.
1. Add the can of crushed tomatoes to the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
2. Add basil and sugar. Reduce heat to low and stir in cream and butter. Stir until butter has melted.
3. Serve with homemade croutons! (See below).
This isn’t really even a recipe… just a quick how to. Cut up any stale bread into bite sized pieces. Put in a ziploc bag and add just a drizzle of olive oil. Add any type of seasoning you want (I like just a pinch of salt and dried basil). Pour on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Flip, and bake for another 10 minutes. They’ll keep in a tupperware or plastic bag for about a week.
Enjoy! I apologize in advance to Panera on Penny Rd. You will probably see a substantial drop in your tomato soup business now.
(Oh hey, stats! In case you’re counting. Per 1 cup serving: 217 cals, 14.5g fat, 628 mg sodium, 6g fiber, 6g protein. Croutons will depend on how much bread and OO you use. I used 3 oz bread + 2 T olive oil. Per serving (4 svgs): 116 cals.)