Friday, April 22, 2022

S is for Souper Simple


#AtoZChallenge 2022 Blogging from A to Z Challenge letter

I was in need of something simple for today's A to Z Challenge post, and I needed something to go with the Rainbow Grilled Cheese from yesterday's post. What goes better with grilled cheese than tomato soup? Not much, that's what! And what's WAY better than canned tomato soup (not knocking it; I eat it all the time)? Why, how about Copycat Panera Creamy Tomato Basil Soup!

Full disclosure: I have never EATEN Panera's Creamy Tomato Basil Soup, so I cannot tell you whether or not this copycat recipe is anywhere close to the real thing. But I CAN tell you that it was quite tasty and quite simple to make.

The ingredients were in my pantry (I typed "panty" there and am so glad I caught it, because spellcheck sure wouldn't have): 28 oz can crushed tomatoes, 28 oz can diced tomatoes, 14 oz can chicken broth, sugar, a cup of heavy cream (rest assured, in my fridge, not in my pantry), garlic, butter, and fresh basil (okay, not in my pantry, either, but I will have it growing in my windowsill herb garden soon).

Put the two cans of tomatoes in a large pan, along with the broth and garlic. Bring it to a boil and let it boil for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and add the sugar and butter, stirring until combined.

Crushed and diced tomatoes,
boiling madly

We interrupt this recipe for an announcement: I don't like chunks of tomato, so at this point, I dug out the blender, scooped out most of the tomatoes, and gave them a bzzzzzzzt in the blender to unchunk them, then added them back to the pan. We will now return to regular recipe following.

Slowly pour the cream into the mixture while continuously stirring with a whisk (the recipe doesn't say "whisk," but I say it; the cream blends into the other ingredients much easier with a whisk). Stir in 15-20 basil leaves that have been chopped (or scissored), and serve. Oh, and as terrific as the whisk is for blending the cream into the rest of the mixture, do not, and I cannot say this clearly enough, DO NOT use the whisk to stir in the basil, as I am about to do in this photo, as the basil wraps itself around the whisk and becomes a seaweedy-looking mess that has to be picked off and dropped back in the soup, or so I've heard....

See? Whisk.

My husband was extremely impressed with the soup (not so much with the Rainbow Grilled Cheese that I served alongside it) and said I should make it often. I'd say that's a pretty big win for maybe 15 minutes of work!

Rainbow Grilled Cheese got a "meh" but the
Tomato Basil Soup got a "yeah!"