TOMATO BASIL SOUP
I will apologize in advance, because once you make this tomato basil soup, other tomato soups will just be "OK." The basil and combination of seasonings gives this soup a depth and richness that pairs perfectly with grilled cheese or even just croutons/bread. The recipe is inspired by Cosi, a chain of casual dining restaurants here, which actually started in Paris. They are known for their delicious baked flatbread. You can lighten this up by using some skim milk instead of all heavy cream, but I highly recommend using mostly heavy cream because its what makes it velvety.
Ingredients [Makes 6-8 servings]
3 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
3 (28 oz.) cans of diced or crushed tomatoes, drained
4 cups heavy cream or half & half or 2% milk, heated
1 cup fresh basil, chopped, some for garnish as well.
4 tsp sugar
3 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp white pepper
Salt to taste
Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Sauté garlic until fragrant, stirring often. Add tomato paste; stir and cook for 30 seconds. Add drained tomatoes, cover and simmer gently for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Puree with a stick blender in the saucepan or transfer to a blender to puree. Return to saucepan and stir in heated creamer, chopped fresh basil, sugar, garlic powder, white pepper and salt to taste. Give another few pulses with the stick blender to incorporate the basil and other ingredients. Heat one last time to bring to slight boil. Serve immediately. It is in my DNA to only serve this with grilled cheese. But you do you :)