Growing up, Campbell’s Tomato Soup was a staple in my house. I’m sure you know the one I’m talking about – red and white label with the word “condensed” which meant you had to add water or milk to it. I have fond memories of eating it for lunch along with “cheese toast” (otherwise known as a piece of cheese melted on toast). This combination has come a long way since my childhood – I was recently served a shooter of tomato soup with a grilled cheese bite at a wedding as a passed hors d’oeuvre. Yummy.
I was looking for a recipe for a healthier version of tomato soup and came across this one. I liked it because it incorporated tasty basil, did not have any dairy and had some whole grains (brown Basmati rice) to make it more hearty and healthy, plus I could adjust the amount of salt.
There’s nothing “condensed” about this soup – it’s full of flavor and good for you. Perfect for a cold winter day. Oh, if you want to be “bad” go ahead and serve it with your favorite grilled cheese sandwich (or “cheese toasts”).
|Tomato Basil Soup|| |
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup diced carrots
- 1 cup diced celery
- 2 cups chopped onions (about 2 medium)
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 3 bay leaves
- 6 ounces (1 can) tomato paste
- ⅓ cup brown Basmati rice
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon dried basil
- 1-1/2 quarts (6 cups) vegetable broth
- 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ¼ cup fresh basil, chopped for garnish
- Heat olive oil in large pot (4 to 5 quarts) over medium heat.
- Add carrots, celery, onions, and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes until softened, but not browned.
- Add bay leaves. Cook 3-4 minutes. Reduce heat to low.
- Add tomato paste. Cook 3-5 minutes, stirring often.
- Add rice; stir to coat. Cook 2 minutes.
- Add cayenne pepper and dried basil; stir.
- Add broth and crushed tomatoes, stir.
- Raise heat to medium-high and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to low; simmer 40-50 minutes until the rice is cooked.
- Discard bay leaves.
- Using a Vitamix, immersion hand blender, regular blender or food processor, purée the soup in batches until smooth. Return the soup to the pot. Season with salt and pepper.
- Garnish each serving with freshly chopped basil.
Source: Variation of a recipe from Wegmans Menu Magazine (Winter 2013).