Monday, November 17, 2014

Tomato Garlic Parm Soup

This is turning into a soup and dip blog, isn't it? Seems like every recipe I post is for either a soup or a type of dip (usually involving eggplant). I hate to bore you all yet again, but here's more soup. Hey - I like soup and it's my birthday,

Hey - it's cold. It's fall. Soup is the perfect meal, for lunch or dinner. And in a lot of cases, it's pretty easy to throw together. Like this creamy and rich tomato soup flavored with lots of garlic and enriched with heavy cream and Parmesan cheese. It's inspired by the lovely tomato garlic parm soup that my friend Don makes at Cajun Kate's.

Before I started cooking, I did a little Internet search to see if there was anything similar already out there, and there was. Multiple blogs seem to be posting a variation on the same recipe. Must be a good recipe, huh? But...boring to see the same ingredients posted 10 different places. I decided to wing it. It's not *that* different, but it involves less chopping and fewer ingredients.

If you don't want a creamy soup, feel free to omit the cream, or just add a little bit. And do use fresh basil (available pretty much year-round at grocery stores) or that Gourmet Garden stuff in a tube; dried basil just won't cut it. (Or maybe it will for you. I just don't like dried basil.) And don't skimp on the garlic!

Creamy Tomato Garlic Parmesan Soup

1 cup diced onion
1 tablespoon butter
5 cloves garlic, crushed
2-15oz cans diced tomatoes
Handful of fresh basil leaves
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup heavy cream or half and half
Salt and cracked black pepper

In a 2 quart saucepan, cook the onion in the butter with a pinch of salt over medium heat until translucent. Stir in the garlic and cook for a minute or two, stirring regularly, until very fragrant. Dump the onion and garlic into a blender with the two cans of tomatoes and about 3/4 of the basil and blend to a puree. Pour the tomato/onion mixture back into the saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and cover pot. Simmer for 20-25 minutes.

Add most of the Parmesan (save some for garnish) and stir well to combine. Add the cream or half and half and stir well. Season with salt and fresh black pepper.

Serve garnished with reserved cheese and basil.

Serves 4.

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