i had a bit of a cold last week and my hubs was sick too with the flu. we were supposed to go over to josephine's house for dinner but cancelled because we didn't want to bring the plague to her house. so the crazy thing here is that josephine insisted she still bring me dinner. i'm all no, no. ok, yes!
so we sat down to eat this tomato soup with homemade bread (duh), and i was like...my mind is blown. this is the best tomato soup i've ever had in my life.
and nato loved it. yes.... my husband loved soup. miracle.
and we felt FULL. full after eating tomato soup. never happened to me before. second miracle in one sitting.
and so i told josephine that we loved it. and she was like, i love cooking. it was such a pleasure to do this for you!
what? cooking is fun for people? not me.
but that's when it hit me. josephine must be my recipe contributor. you guys can deal with my casseroles only so much, if we're honest with each other. and i'm more of a baker, anyway.
so please meet my friend, josephine. genius, practiced, real life mom-cook. and the new recipe contributor on this very blog. because she doesn't have a blog. rude. so rude.
is her kitchen not the cutest thing ever. it's completely vintage!
and she keeps her recipes in a real book. like she writes them down. they aren't on a pinterest board...IN A BOOK! let that sink in for a moment.
and meet the best creamy tomato soup that will make your heart skip a beat from sheer goodness.
Creamy Tomato Soup
1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled or diced tomatoes, organic preferably, like Muir Glen
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 stalks of celery, diced
4 small carrots, peeled and diced
2 medium onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried basil
2 cups chicken stock
2 dried bay leaves
1 teaspoon of white sugar
2 tablespoons butter
¼ cup heavy cream
¾ cup 2% milk
salt and pepper
if you like heat, just a dash of cayenne powder
In a saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the celery, carrot, onions, garlic and the dried basil and some salt and pepper. simmer the aromatics until softened and caramelized, about 10 minutes.
jami says: aromatics? ok, what are those? whatever. i'm going to google that. look who's learning so much!
Add the tomatoes (with the juice) and sugar.
josephine says: if you can find canned fired-roasted canned tomatoes, please use those in this recipe. Muir Glenn has fantastic fire-roasted tomatoes. it adds a smoky flavor to this rich and creamy soup. and a little bit sugar helps cut down the acidity of the tomatoes.
then add chicken stock, bay leaves and butter. Simmer until vegetables are very tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. add the cream and milk. you can add ¼ cup chopped fresh basil at this point, if using.
fresh basil isn’t always available. or, it is just too pricy. so, Jo recommends two steps to make the best use of dried basil. add the dried basil from the get-go when all the veggies are being sautéed. before adding it in, give it a good rub. this step helps release the oil of the dried herb. also, cooking it along with the veggies helps toast the dried herbs, which definitely helps the flavor. however, if you like fresh basil and don’t mind paying for it, please feel free to add and blend it in at the end.
then fish our the bay leaves and then blend the veggies with an immersion blender. this is the immersion blender i have and i love it!
you'll need to taste this at the end to see if it needs more salt.
josephine says: In my experience, homemade chicken stock is a key ingredient to this soup. It adds lots richness and depth to the soup. You will see I use it in all the recipes that call for chicken stock. I’m definitely a homemade chicken stock snob.
jami says: you make your own stock? oh man. i enjoy the carton so much. it's so easy. baby steps...baby steps...
jo says: But it is so easy to make! I will post later on how to make homemade chicken stock. It really is easy breezy.
ok...we'll just have to post that some other time. and we will! i'm hoping that you'll see a post from josephine each week. get excited for your kitchens to explode with joy.
and enjoy your soup.
perhaps with a grilled cheese, sayeth the Lord. perfection on a cold day.