However, the change of seasons at my house are not only in the decor, but in the food I prepare as well. I find myself in the kitchen creating soups, casseroles and warmer, heartier meals. And this weekend, soup found its way to our table. Even better, 4 of the 5 of us enjoyed it. I call that success.
I made Tomato Basil Soup (recipe below).
I first sautéd some onion, celery, carrot and garlic in a little bit of butter until soft.
Added in some different layers of tomato and chicken stock.
Some basil and a bay leaf along with a little pepper to give the soup a punch of homestyle flavor.
I simmered it on the stove for about 5 hours, I'm sure you could throw it all into a crockpot and let the flavors meld together in there as well.
Right before you are going to serve it, stir in a 1/2 a cup of cream cheese and a pint of half and half. Once it is melted and combined, serve it up. I love pairing this soup with cheesy, garlic bread. I am a dipper and this is a perfect compliment to the soup.
And like I said before, all but one of us (that would be Smiley) liked the soup. Action even decided to express his feelings in the soup itself:
Tomato Basil Soup
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 of an onion, chopped
1/2 cup shredded carrot
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons butter
28 oz diced tomatoes
3 cups (24 oz) vegetable juice (like V-8)
6 oz tomato paste
28 oz crushed tomatoes
14.5 oz can chicken broth
Pepper, to taste
1 bay leaf
2-3 tablespoons of snipped basil (more or less to taste)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 pint 1/2 and 1/2
4 oz cream cheese
1. Saute the veggies in 2 tablespoons of butter until softened.
2. Add all ingredients except the 1/2 and 1/2 and cream cheese.
3. Simmer for 3-6 hours.
4. About 10 minutes before serving, stir in the 1/2 and 1/2 and cream cheese.
* I think crushed red peppers would be good in this soup if you like a little kick. My kids are not always so keen on spice, so I did not add any.
* If you like your soup a bit thinner, add more chicken broth or vegetable juice
* Have fresh tomatoes on hand? Chop them up and toss them in!