Fresh tomatoes sauteed along with onions and garlic to perfection and then, pureed with basil which is then simmered in butter and cream cannot go wrong. This vibrant and hearty soup can be made with fresh or canned tomatoes. It's so hearty with the richness of tomatoes and the basil imparts nice flavor, freshness and makes it so fragrant. It can be served with a sandwich and will make a perfect meal.
I found this recipe online and have made this 2 times back to back now using our home-grown tomatoes. This soup recipe is definitely a keeper. It tastes so good! I can say its almost a replica of Panera's Creamy Tomato soup. I don't know how Panera makes theirs but this soup recipe is definitely healthy. I used up a lot of my garden fresh tomatoes and basil to make mine. Below is the recipe.
1 tbsp Olive oil(i used light Olive oil)
1 tbsp butter
1 medium finely chopped onion
4 cloves of garlic, minced
15 to 20 good size finely chopped fresh tomatoes
1/3 cup of water
1/2 cup milk (I used 2%, but the original recipe had 1 cup whipping cream - I am sure adding cream will make it more rich and tasty)
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
Salt to taste
a pinch of sugar to cut the acidity of tomatoes
1 tsp crushed/powdered black pepper
1. Heat a heavy bottomed pan, and add olive oil. When hot, add the chopped onions and tomatoes and cook until for about 5 minutes.
2. Now throw in the minced garlic and cook for an additional 25 to 30 minutes on a medium heat until the tomatoes are melted and cooked all the way. Turn off the heat and let it cool down.
3. Take a hand blender or a regular blender and pour the tomato mixture, basil leaves and puree it until desired consistency. I like mine smooth.
4. In the same pot, add the butter and pour the blended tomato puree. Add the milk or cream, crushed pepper, salt and continue cooking for about 5 to 10 minutes on a medium-low heat until the soup has reached a desired temperature(about 5 to 8 minutes). Do not boil it for too long.
5. Serve in a bowl with croutons.(I did not have croutons, so I served it with fresh basil chiffonade).
P.S: You can make this soup with part fresh tomatoes and a can of crushed tomatoes and I am sure it will taste great, but in my opinion fresh tomatoes that too from ones own garden tastes the best.