A Creamy Tomato Soup to Power You Through Xmas

A Creamy Tomato Soup to Power You Through Xmas

This soup is so velvety and delicious that one might think it takes hours upon hours to cook. NOT. You can prepare this soup in under forty minutes. I tell my Nanas, it’s great for when the grandkids are over, too!

No matter your winter activity, albeit ice skating, ice fishing (well, maybe I’ve got some fans in the frozen tundra), or just plain exhausting shopping and decorating, there’s nothing better than a piping hot bowl of soup. My recipe for Roasted Garlic Tomato Basil Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons comes from the “Pic Niques” chapter of SUNDAY BEST DISHES. If you’re lucky enough to live in Florida, this DISH OF THE DAY is perfect for a spur of the moment winter break picnic, and if you don’t live here with me in the tropics? A hearty tomato soup with cheesy croutons is just the best in a snowed in cabin, too! It’s the perfect meal to serve as you gather friends and family to decorate the tree.

Myself, I’m going to need a big warm comforting bowl of this soup, to finish wrapping gifts and signing my autograph. My beautiful bookplates are here! Email me soon for your signed copy of Santa’s favorite cookbook, and be sure to include your address so he and the reindeer can find you!


Now go make soup!

Roasted Garlic Tomato Basil Soup

with Grilled Cheese Croutons



3 heads garlic

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon coarse black pepper

½ teaspoon Herbes de Provence

Preheat the oven to 375°. Cut off the top third of each head of garlic and discard. Place the heads onto a sheet of aluminum foil. Drizzle the cut side with olive oil, salt, pepper and Herbes de Provence. Fold up the foil around the garlic, leaving a small hole at the top. Place into the oven and roast until the cloves are golden, soft and popping out of their skins, about 30 to 40 minutes.



3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 large yellow onion, peeled and finely diced, about 1 ½ cup

2 medium carrots, peeled, trimmed and chopped, about 1 cup

2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour

4 cups homemade chicken broth, or prepared low sodium chicken broth

1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes

¾ cup tomato paste

2 teaspoons granulated sugar

1 teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon coarse black pepper

½ cup fresh basil leaves, chopped

Melt the butter over medium heat in a large soup pot.  Stir in the onion and carrots and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.  Sprinkle the veggies with flour and cook for several minutes more.  Stir in the broth, crushed tomatoes and the tomato paste.  Cook until the mixture is smooth, about 3 minutes.  Stir in the sugar and season with salt and pepper. Add the roasted garlic and basil and cook for 1 minute more.  Cool the soup. Transfer the soup in batches to a food processor (or blender) and pulse to emulsify.

Pour the soup back into the pot over medium heat. Taste and season with salt and pepper.  Simmer over low heat.



1 large hoagie roll

2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled to room temperature

2 ounces white cheddar cheese, shredded, about ½ cup

2 tablespoons olive oil

¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

            Preheat the oven to 350°. Slice the hoagie roll in half horizontally. Spread the butter over the cut side. Lay the cheese on top of one butter-slathered slice of the roll. Place the top on the roll. Smush the roll down so that the cheese sticks to the butter inside. Brush the top, sides and bottom of the roll with olive oil. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Slice into 1-inch cubes. Bake until golden on all sides, turning every so often, about 3 to 5 minutes total.

Pour the soup into a thermos. Pack the croutons into an air-tight container. Serve the soup with a garnish of basil and top with 1 to 2 croutons.





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