Growing up, tomato soup was always my favorite soup. It had to be Campbell's of course, with a big blob of butter and lots of crushed up crackers. Mmmmm... talk about comfort food. And this actually was my favorite until I discovered making my own tomato soup about a year ago. Now, Campbell's can't even compare to this and I haven't bought a can of it since. Absolutely no need for the crackers and the soup comes with a blob of butter. :)
I realize there isn't anything much easier than opening a can of soup and adding milk or water, and looking at this wonderful soup, you probably think it's time consuming and a chore to make, but it really isn't. And when it's all said and done, I'm betting you'll donate all your existing cans of tomato soup in the cupboard or pantry to your local food pantry. I'm warning you, there's no going back!
So, let's get started! First you'll need 3 cups of tomatoes. You can use canned or fresh. If using canned, you can use any style and the juice - whole, diced - whatever you have. This particular time, I had canned whole tomatoes on hand. Measure those out and set aside. Then you'll need 1 cup each of diced celery, carrots and onion. I'm not a big celery fan, so I did not cut up as much celery as called for and I am in no way an onion fan but I do know you need some for taste. I did 1 cup carrots, and 1/2 cup celery and probably about 1/4 cup onion.It's all your personal preference. (Next time I might add mushroom since I saw my hubby dip fresh mushrooms in his soup.) Prepare your veggies and set them aside. Then, grab some spices - 1 tablespoon dried basil, 1 teaspoon dried oregano and 1 bay leaf. And some oil.
The recipe calls for 1/4 cup of oil to saute the veggies, but since I'm not using 3 full cups of veggies, I used half that of oil. So, heat your oil in a 4 quart soup pot and add your celery, onions & carrots. Saute for 5 minutes. Even when I am only at this part, my kids ask "what smells so good?"
Next, add basil, oregano, bay leaf, tomatoes and 4 cups of chicken broth. Bring it to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until the carrots are tender, about 15 minutes. Remove and discard your bay leaf. (I actually have forgotten to do this before and pureed it so it's not a biggie if you forget.)
After simmering, use your immersion blender to puree the soup. If you don't have an immersion blender, a regular blender works too, just please be careful transferring the hot soup from the pan to the blender and vice versa. This is the one I have, and I don't know how I lived without it. It even has the attachments for dicing my veggies.
After pureeing your soup, prepare a roux with a stick of butter and a 1/2 cup of flour.
Melt the butter over low heat, add flour and stir constantly, mixing very well. Slowly stir in 1 cup of the soup, slowly add another 2 cups and stir until smooth. Add back into your pot of soup and whisk well.
Simmer, stirring constantly until the soup begins to thicken. Add the Parmesan cheese and whisk to blend.
Stir in 2 cups of warmed milk or half-n-half, whichever you prefer. Add salt & pepper to taste.
Simmer over low heat for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Mmm, mmm, mmm. Just look at that goodness.
Serve with more Parmesan cheese and a crouton or two. And be prepared for your taste buds to do a happy dance!
I bet this would also be really good as a sauce over pasta or chicken. I'd love to hear what you think when you make it!
Tomato Basil Parmesan Soup (printable version)
adapted from todaysmama.com
1/4 cup vegetable oil (adjust if using less veggies)
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup diced onion
1 tablespoon dried basil (or 4 tbsp fresh)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 bay leaf
3 cups tomato (fresh, or canned w/juice)
4 cups chicken broth
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
1/2 cup flour
1 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
2 cups warmed milk of choice
salt & pepper
Heat oil in a 4 quart soup pot. Add celery, onions and carrots. Saute for 5 minutes. Add basil, oregano, bay leaf, tomatoes and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, until the carrots are tender. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Using an immersion blender, blend your soup.
In another pan, melt the butter over low heat and add the flour. Cook, stirring constantly about 5 minutes. Slowly stir in 1 cup of the soup. Slowly add another 2 cups of soup, stirring until smooth. Add back into the soup pot.
Simmer, stirring constantly until the soup begins to thicken. Add the Parmesan cheese and whisk to blend. Stir in the warmed milk, salt & pepper. Simmer over low heat 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Makes about 2 quarts (approx. 8 servings).
Disclosure: A product link in this post is an “affiliate link.” That means if you click on that link and purchase the item, MamaGing will receive an affiliate commission. For that, I thank you! Regardless, MamaGing only recommends products or services I use personally (MamaGing does not receive compensation for reviewing the product, it’s my own personal opinion and/or recommendation.)