Meatless Monday: Fire Roasted Tomato Basil Soup

Among the things I don’t like about the weather turning colder: wearing socks. Among the things I love? SOUP SEASON! Two years ago, I decided I wanted to start making more homemade soups. That year my sweet gent bought me an immersion blender for my birthday and I could not have been more excited. And the rest is history. (NOTE: you don’t need an immersion blender to make great soup!) Tomato soup—made right—is one of the best things on the planet (done wrong it’s straight tomato juice-gross, though). This one is not only done oh-so-right, it’s also easy and completely weeknight-friendly. So whip up a grilled cheese sandwich for dipping and get to it. Here you go.

WHAT YOU NEED
* vegetable oil
* 1/2 a sweet onion, rough chopped
* 3t minced garlic
* 1T flour
* 14.5oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes (no sat added)
* 28oz can whole peeled plum tomatoes
* ~1/4C sundried tomatoes (packed in oil), drained and chopped
* 3C vegetable broth
* 1/4C heavy cream
* 1/4-1/2C fresh basil, chopped
* salt
* freshly ground black pepper
* 2 bay leaves

WHAT TO DO
Heat a drizzle of vegetable oil over medium heat in a large soup pot. Add the onion and garlic and sauté about 5 minutes, until soft. Add the flour and stir until there are no lumps. Then add the diced tomatoes, the plum tomatoes (crushing them one by one as you add them to the pot), the sun-dried tomatoes, the broth, and the cream. Simmer for 20 minutes, until the tomatoes begin to break down.

Remove the pot from the heat and either use an immersion blender to purée the soup or blend it in batches in a regular blender.

Return the puréed soup to a simmer. Add more broth (or water) if you prefer it thinner. Add the basil, salt and pepper to taste, and the bay leaves, and stir to combine. Simmer another 15 minutes.

Serve hot (and don’t forget the grilled cheese!).

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