Staying at home with the family during this time of this global pandemic, continues to force me to step out of my comfort zone and into the realm of comfort foods. When it comes to dinner time, the favorites and regular staples are getting old i.e., spaghetti with meat sauce, tacos, baked chicken, and barbecued spare ribs. I get tired of having leftovers that no one will eat later. I have found it most effective when I make just enough so there is nothing left. Scarcity seems to work well for this family.
It has been a hot humid Florida summer, but nothing says summer like a cup of hot soup. I’m only half kidding. I love soup during hot or cold weather. On one particular humid summer night, Anthony and I were at a customer’s house where we were given a shot of Turkish coffee with a hint of orange. I found it particularly odd that we weren’t offered something to cool us down. He explained that hot drinks are supposed to cool you down. The particular science behind it I have since learned doesn’t work for those of us who live in a humid climate. All science aside, it wouldn’t change the fact that I enjoy making comfort foods year-around. I mean why not, right? Who says you can only eat pumpkin pie during Thanksgiving?
I should probably make summer soups, but this tomato basil soup is something you’ll want to add into your menu rotation. Even my picky eaters will have a bowl. It makes for a good Meatless Monday. Each spoonful is rich with flavor, especially with fresh basil.
Tomato Basil Soup Recipe
1- 28 oz can diced tomatoes
4 Cups Vegetable Broth
3 stalks of celery
2 Teaspoons Italian seasoning
1 Teaspoon onion powder
1 Teaspoon salt
1/2 Cup butter
1/2 Cup flour
1 Cup half and half
1 Package basil leaves, chopped
1 Cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- Pour in diced tomatoes, and vegetable broth in a stock pot.
- Chop up celery and carrots and put in food processor until minced.
- Stir in celery and carrots into the stock pot.
- Mix in Italian seasoning, onion powder and salt. Turn your stove on to medium high until it begins to boil. Lower temperature to a simmer until vegetables are tender.
- Puree soup.
- In a small sauce pan make the roux. Melt butter and slowly add in flour. It should be the consistency of a thick paste. Slowly stir in half and half.
- Pour mixture into soup.
- Stir in shredded Parmesan and chopped basil leaves.
- Ready to serve. I love to serve it with toasted Italian bread with a generous amount of melted mozzarella on top. I did say it was a comfort food. There’s no need to skimp now.