My father loves this soup – absolutely loves it. I cook for my parents a few times a week and every night he’ll thank me for my meal, compliment me on it (Most of the time. He’s become very picky as he’s aged), and then asks me when I’ll be serving “that tomato soup” again. It’s become something of a joke but I do keep this in my regular rotation. I keep thinking we’ll get tired of it but every time I serve it my children still greet it with excitement. It’s rich and creamy with a savory tomato flavor, the Parmesan bringing a salty nuttiness. It would be delicious with a french or garlic bread but we ALWAYS serve it with a Havarti Basil Grilled Cheese Sandwich. It doesn’t need a salad, but I try to serve lots of greens, so I’ll add a little baby spinach to the plate and top it with some balsamic vinaigrette. Perfection!
Tomato Basil Soup with Parmesan
Yield: 3 quarts (about 8 servings)
1 cup carrots, finely diced
1 cup celery, finely diced
1 cup onions, finely diced
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried oregano
1 Tbsp dried basil
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 (14 oz) cans diced petite tomatoes with juice
4 cups chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup flour
1 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
1/2 cup butter
2 cups half and half, warmed
salt and pepper to taste
- In a large soup pot warm oil over medium high heat. Add carrots, celery and onions. Stir frequently for about 5 minutes. When the vegetables soften and the onion becomes more translucent add in the garlic and the oregano, basil, salt and pepper. Saute for 2 more minutes.
- Add the diced tomatoes with juice, chicken broth and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer and allow to simmer about 15 minutes or until the carrots are tender.
- In a large skillet melt the butter over low heat. Once melted slowly whisk in the flour. Continue to whisk for 5 minutes.
- After the 5 minutes take about 3 cups of the soup and add to the skillet. Whisk immediately. Once thickened add the contents of the skillet back into the soup pot. Stir to combine and your soup will begin to thicken.
- Add Parmesan cheese and whisk to blend. Stir in warmed half and half.
- Add salt and pepper to taste. Simmer over low heat 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Ladle into serving bowls and serve warm.
Havarti Basil Grilled Cheese Sandwich
good quality wheat bread
Havarti cheese, thinly sliced
vine-ripened tomato, sliced
Spread a thin layer of honey on each slice of bread. Top half of the bread slices with cheese, tomato, 2-3 basil leaves, and another slice of cheese. Place the final slice of bread on top. Add a thin smear of butter to the outside of the sandwich and heat in a hot skillet or on a griddle.