Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Tomato Basil Soup with Parmesan Herb Croutons

Today is National Homemade Soup Day! To celebrate this fantastically-yummy holiday, Matt and I made tomato basil soup, from WW Book 6 of the Momentum Plan, Keep on Tracking.

I will say that this soup was not the easiest thing to make. I started a fight with the food processor when, as I was pureeing the tomatoes, it exploded hot red liquid from the top. Apparently, the darn thing doesn't have a good, solid seal.

I thought the blender might make a better friend. Au contraire mon frere! The first batch in the blender went well, but I must not have put the lid on tight enough for the second batch, because it, too, sprayed hot red liquid all over the counter. At that point, I was ready to chuck the blender/food processor across the room. Thankfully, Matt was nearby with paper towels to clean up the mess.

In the end, here's what I learned:
1.) The soup was delicious, so the effort was worth it
2.) I totally need an immersion blender

Tomato Basil Soup
Cooking spray
2 medium leeks, chopped (white parts only)
8 medium ripe beefsteak tomatoes, cored and chopped (about 3 pounds)
1 tsp dry thyme
1 bay leaf
12 oz fat-free evaporated milk
2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
1/8 tsp salt, or to taste
1/8 tsp fresh ground pepper, or to taste

The first step is an extra one that I will add the next time I make this soup...

Bring a pot of water to boil. Drop the tomatoes in and boil for 1 minute. Immediately drain the tomatoes and dunk in ice cold water. Once the tomatoes are blanched, remove the skins.

OK, back to the original recipe...

Coat a large saucepan with cooking spray and set pan over medium heat. Add leeks and saute until soft, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, thyme and bay leaf. Cook until the tomatoes break down, about 5 minutes.

Add broth and bring to a simmer; reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and remove bay leaf.

Puree tomato mixture in saucepan using an immersion blender. Or, working in batches, puree tomato mixture in a blender until smooth (be careful not to splatter hot liquid). That's what the actual recipe says... Oh, how this recipe mocks me!

Return puree to saucepan and set pan over low heat. Add milk and simmer 1 minute to heat through. Remove from heat and stir in basil, reserving a tad for a garnish. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with the basil and Parmesan Herb Croutons (recipe below).

WW Points Per Serving (a whopping 1 and a half cups worth!): 2 Points

Parmesan Herb Croutons
Day old french baguette
Olive Oil
Handful of freshly grated parmesan cheese (I'm sure the Kraft container stuff would work great, too)
Various herbs (I used oregano, basil and thyme this thyme... I mean, time)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cut the baguette into generous-sized cubes and arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with herbs. Toss the cubes to coat them well. Sprinkle them with the parmesan cheese.

Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until lightly browned.


  1. This looks like a fabulous soup!

  2. Yum! This looks like a must try. Lovethe funny story about the fight with the food processort. Dontcha just love when that stuff happens in the kitchen? The other night I spilled a half of a bag of quinoa all over the kitchen floor!! It sucked to clean up all those little things.

  3. Look, if I have to spray hot red liquid all over the place, I'm not sure this soup is worth it. ;)

  4. I have a friend who's been on the prowl for a good tomato basil soup recipe, I'm going to pass this one on!