These cold winter days are perfect for simple and satisfying one pot meals, especially bubbly hot soups! One of my favorite simple soups has always been the classic Tomato Basil. Simple to whip up, but never short on flavor, this version is rich and creamy, loaded with fresh basil and perfectly spiced with crushed red pepper.
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Start by sautéing a diced yellow onion in two tablespoons of butter on medium heat. Sweat the onions, stirring occasionally, until they become translucent (this takes about 8 minutes). Add in the minced garlic and keep stirring. After a few minutes, add in some crushed red pepper. About 1/2 teaspoon is a good starting point, then you can add more to get it to the perfect spiciness for you.
Pour in the tomatoes with all their tasty juices. Then, add a little olive oil (about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon), the broth and a bit of salt & pepper. Stir everything together and let it get to a low simmer, stirring occasionally. Be sure to run your spoon along the bottom corners of the pot when you’re stirring. After about 15 minutes, drop the heat to low.
Now, we get to play with some kitchen toys! We’re going to use an immersion blender to pulse this to a somewhat smooth consistency. But, this step is all about your personal preference. Like a silky smooth soup? Blend away! Like it a little chunky? Give it a few pulses, then leave all the chunky bits you can handle!
Now, lets turn this into Tomato Basil soup, shall we?!
Add in a big handful of chiffonade sliced basil and one cup of heavy cream. When the cream collides with the vibrant red sauce…oh my. It’s totally ok to stare (and drool???) while these two swirl together.
Of course, a little grated parmesan cheese never hurt anyone! I like to stir about 1/4 cup of the nutty cheese into the pot.
*Note: Some recipes call for a little sugar to offset the acidity of the tomatoes. Personally, the richness of the cream and subtle sweetness of basil balance out the acidity in this recipe, but if you like some more sweetness to offset the acidic tomatoes, this would be a good point to add in a pinch of sugar.
After another 5 minutes on low, this soup will be ready to serve. I like to fill up a bowl, add a little more crushed pepper, basil and parmesan on top. Of course, this soup wouldn’t really be complete without some sort of toasty bread to soak it all up!
Thanks for Chewsing!