Saturday, January 24, 2009

Tomato Basil Soup

Photo courtesy of

I love tomato soup with grilled cheese sandwiches on cold Saturdays. Yeah, Yeah, this is Phoenix. It doesn't really qualify as cold, ever. For us though it was a little cool today. Which made for a perfect excuse to have a soup and sandwich lunch. Like I need an excuse to be self-indulgent.

My love of tomato soup does not extend to canned soup. I hate the copious amounts of salt and the price of canned soup. So I make my own (this is not saying much since I really make most everything homemade). It hardly takes any extra time to make homemade soup and it tastes so much better. What makes it even tastier is the cheap, cheap, cheap price of this soup. Soup is notoriously cheap anyway but this one came in under $1.75 for 4 servings.

Here's my recipe for Tomato Basil Soup

2 cans diced tomatoes
3/4 cup milk*
1/4 cup onion, diced**
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons butter***
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup fresh basil or 1/4 cup dried, chop the fresh basil
Salt & pepper to taste

In sauce pan, melt butter. Add onion and garlic and cook until soft. Sprinkle in flour. Cook for a couple of minutes. You want to cook off the flour taste but not so much to make a dark roux.

Add the 2 cans of tomatoes and milk. Let it come up to a boil. Add more milk a tablespoon or so at a time if the soup is too thick.

With an immersion blender, potato masher, or blender blend until you get the smoothness you like. I don't like mine perfectly smooth which is a good thing since I have yet to master the immersion blender smooth soup test. I'd give myself a "B" grade. Let soup warm back up. Add basil, salt and pepper. Let simmer while you make the sandwiches.

Serves 4

*I used evaporated milk because I happened to have 3/4 can of it leftover but any type will work. Keep it low fat by using fat free milk.
**I buy onions that are pre-chopped and frozen in the frozen foods section of the grocery store. I can get a 16 ounce bag for .99cents. Buying onion and peppers pre-chopped and frozen is such a time saver and the price works out about the same.
***Any fat will work. If you are trying to keep this fairly healthy use olive oil.

I made my cheese sandwiches with mozzarella cheese, french bread and fresh basil. Then when I dipped my sandwich into the soup it tasted like pizza margarita. Yummy! Unlike the Captain I did not cut my sandwiches with a gingerbread men cookie cutter. I went with the classic grilled cheese sandwich shape with unusual ingredients.



  1. See, now that's a recipe that I could make without deferring to Jamie. I'm going to try it. Yum!

  2. I'm going to save that for next year when my garden over-produces on the tomatoes again. Looks delicious.

    (Except I don't know what an immersion blender is.)

  3. Last weekend I made homemade Tomato and Roasted Red Pepper soup and it was wonderful. Coach even said he liked it. Homemade soup is the BEST!

  4. Casey: It was yummy.

    Keely: I wish we could have a garden here. If you don't water them twice a day they die. It so sucks!

    Stepping Thru: Did you use jarred roasted red peppers or did you roast your own?

  5. Love this, Michele! Grilled cheese and tomato soup is my absolute favorite combination for a wintry day.

  6. I'm ebarrassed to admit that I've only ever made one kind of soup homemade. The rest I buy in a can. The shame I feel.

  7. Yum, I need this. I love soup too, but the salt is out of control. And I think we're having a soup and sandwich night too.

  8. There is NOTHING better than a good tomato soup and a grilled cheese sand . NOTHING.

  9. That sounds soo good! Tomato soup, grilled cheese and basil.......

  10. I roasted my own. It's easy but a little time consuming. I usually do up a big batch and then freeze what I don't use right away.

  11. This soup sounds delicious, especially with the fresh basil in it. Yum.

    I'm curious about what you think of immersion blenders. A couple friends were telling me how much they like them for making smoothies; how easy they are to use and clean. Do you use yours much? Do you think they're much better than traditional blenders? I'm wondering if it's worth the investment. Thanks :)