Friday, May 24, 2013

Cream of Tomato Soup


In my continued effort to eat more clean, healthy foods I've been trying very hard for about the past 10 weeks to rid my diet of as many processed foods as possible and replace them with homemade food including sweets or deserts when I can. I'm not going to preach about processed foods or healthy eating - I'm certainly not in a position to be judging anyone's eating habits. What I will say is that you simply can't buy in a jar the satisfaction that comes from making your own food. Knowing what's in the food, healthy, fresh, tasty meals and providing something homemade for loved ones... All of these things make me feel good about sitting down for a bite!

The reason I started making my own soup is quite simple... It's an easy way to get hot, yummy food on the table and trick myself into eating vegetables I don't normally like. Obviously if you have kids, soups can be a great way to get them to eat vegetables too! Find a way to make it fun with goldfish crackers, cheese or fun shaped grilled cheese sandwiches on the side made with cookie cutters that they can use for dunking.

For most of the soup recipes I've made, you literally put the ingredients on the stove with about 5 or 10 minutes of actual tending and then leave it to cook for at least an hour so I often put on a pot of soup and then blog for an hour. What's also great about making your own soup is that it usually yields a hefty portion, so you can pop it in the freezer or the fridge and have leftovers for lunches and dinners throughout the week!

I don't actually like tomatoes in their normal form, but they're so good for you, so we eat a lot of tomato soup in this flat. While I love a really creamy tomato soup and this recipe will work by adding cream instead of milk, I make my soup with skim milk so it's not so fattening. Here's the recipe and if you're having weather wherever you are like we've got here in England, it's a great weekend for a hot bowl of of yummy soup. Enjoy!

Ingredients

3 large cloves of garlic minced or thinly sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
5 large fresh basil leaves
2 cans of whole tomatoes peeled in their juice
Course sea salt or Maldon Salt
Freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 cups of skim milk




Method
Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large stock pot. Add the garlic and cook while stirring for two or 3 minutes. 


Toss in the basil leaves and stir into the oil quickly, being careful not to burn either the garlic or basil.


Stir in the tomatoes and 1 can full of water. Salt & pepper to taste and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

After simmering, remove the pot from heat and stir in the milk. Leave the soup to cool for about 10 minutes. (It doesn't need to cool completely.)


Whizz the soup in a blender in batches (be careful blending hot liquids) until it reaches the desired consistency. *If you prefer a chunkier soup, you can skip this step, but be sure to crush the tomatoes with a wooden spoon while simmering when you stir or more simply, squish them with a potato masher a few times... That works too.


When the soup is blended, either heat it up to the desired temperature on the stove or store for enjoying later. I like to make this soup on a Sunday to have during a busy week. I love storing my soups in the fridge in pretty mason jars that I picked up at Butlers, but you could also use tupperware or freezer-proof containers if you're freezing it.

When you're serving this Cream of Tomato Soup, it looks lovely garnished with a few small basil leaves, a spoonful of pesto or a light shred of parmesan cheese.

Tips
* Be sure to label your soup for the date your milk expires.
* If you plan to store the soup for quite some time, wait until the day you plan to serve it to blend in the milk so it doesn't expire.
* Goes well with garlic bread, crostini, bruschetta or even a grilled cheese!
* Serve at a party in shot glasses or small mugs sprinkled with goldfish crackers or croutons.

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2 comments

  1. This sounds really good. I LOVE tomato soup and have always wanted to learn how to make my own.

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    Replies
    1. It is good and super easy! Happy soup eating! x

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