Rich and comforting creamy tomato basil soup that uses common ingredients. Make it low fat or fancy it up with fresh basil. All ready in 30 minutes with these easy to follow step by step photo instructions.
Introduction and my rating
Over the years, I have had “trouble” with tomato soup, specifically the canned stuff. I just can’t do it. The watered-down tomato-like taste. Just nothing redeeming about it.
I have occasionally made tomato soup with fresh tomatoes, generally the preferred method. The results have been very good. But I don’t seem to have a great source of tomatoes on-demand and honestly, it is more work than a simple soup should take.
The science part of me wants “reproducible” results. So I’m using ingredients that I can keep around with consistent quality.
A nice solid 4 for me. A bit higher for my wife.
What tomatoes to use
You have choices here. The easiest will be crushed tomatoes. I have one I prefer so I’m good but this is the main component so you need to be happy with your choice.
You can also use whole or diced can tomatoes. You will need an emersion blender if you do.
The tomatoes may need a touch of sugar to your taste.
The baking soda may seem odd to you. But it will neutralize the acid in the tomato, so it tastes less acidic, and they won’t curdle the milk in the soup — both good things
If you want to use fresh tomatoes, you need a different recipe.
Make it low fat
The fat in this recipe is completely controlled by your choice of dairy to use.
Many recipes use heavy cream or at least half and half. I can not bring myself to do that. Non-fat evaporated milk is a common substitute and works great here.
You may also use cream, half and half, milk, or even chicken broth — your choice.
Other notes, storage, and other recipes
I do thank fresh basil is very nice here but use dry if you need to.
Storage of the soup: Good refrigerated for 3-4 days. It can also be frozen for 3-4 months.
Other “comfort food” soups
Step by step photo instructions
Notice both fresh and dry basil in the picture. It is one or the other.
If using fresh basil, prep 5 medium leaves by pinching off the stem, form a stack with the largest on the bottom and smallest on top. Roll from the stem end into a small “cigar”. Cut into narrow ribbons by pulling the knife through the basil and not crushing it.
Add 28 oz canned crushed tomatoes to a large non-reactive saucepan. Add 1 teaspoon dry basil or the fresh basil, 1/2 teaspoon each of onion powder, garlic powder, kosher salt, and pepper. Also, add 1/2 teaspoon baking soda. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
Add 12 oz can of fat-free evaporated milk. Taste test for sweetness. Add 1-2 teaspoon of sugar if desired, but I did not. You may also use cream, half and half, milk, or even chicken broth.
Simmer for 5 minutes more and serve.
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Originally Published January 13, 2019