Tomato soup is one of those foods that bring back childhood memories for me. I remember from time to time my mom would crack open a can of Campbell’s Cream of Tomato Soup, add a can of milk and heat it in a pot on the stove. I used to love to break up saltine crackers and drop them down in my soup. I seemed to have done that with a lot of soups, and I still do today. It’s funny how some things you did as a child follow you through life.
This recipe uses chicken stock. It’s important to use a good quality tasting stock to make sure the overall soup turns out well. I recommend using homemade stocks whenever possible. One of my favorite memories from culinary school was during my first semester where we learned to make stocks. Our classroom was an industrial kitchen with a wall of professional stovetops with ovens. We used piles of bones that had been discarded when we were learning to debone chickens or make different cuts of beef. We typically roasted these bones until they were golden brown and then would transfer them to what seemed like giant cauldrons and filled them with water. These vats of broth would simmer most of the day and would produce the most delicious broths which became the base to many soups and sauces.
While I don’t make huge quantities of stock, I do make homemade stocks whenever I can and freeze them for later use. I’ll have to cover that in another post. Homemade stocks or broths are far superior in flavor to what you can buy at the store, but if you don’t have any on hand or don’t have time to make it, it’s fine to use the store bought boxed broths. My favorite store bought stock is Kitchen Basics Cooking Stock, they are packed with rich flavor, gluten-free and typically unsalted, which will help you control your seasonings to your personal liking.
This is my favorite creamy tomato soup recipe. It’s very similar to La Madeline’s Tomato Soup, but I think better. It’s especially good with a warm grilled cheese sandwich. Enjoy!
Creamy Tomato Basil Soup
- 4 cups 8-10 tomatoes, peeled, cored and chopped or 4 cups canned whole tomatoes, crushed.
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 12 fresh washed basil leaves, plus more for garnish
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 stick salted butter cut into pats
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
- Crusty bread for serving
- Combine tomatoes and stock in a saucepan.
- Simmer 30 minutes. Let cool slightly.
- Puree, along with the basil leaves, in small batches, in blender, or better yet, a stick blender.
- Return to saucepan and add cream, while stirring, over low heat until cream is incorporated.
- Remove from heat and whisk in butter until butter is melted and incorporated.
- Taste soup and add salt and pepper to taste.
- Ladle into serving bowls and garnish with basil leaves.
- Serve with your favorite warm bread.