This dish is so warm and comforting and it always makes me think of fall. Just when it starts to get chilly, around October or November, my mom usually makes a huge pot of this stuff and I'm so nostalgic for it now!! I can't wait to get home and get a nice, warm bowlful!
Here's the recipe. It's nice and easy for those of you who may not be comfortable in the kitchen. Try your hand at this one and be prepared to wow your friends and family with your culinary skills!
Oh, and before I get into the recipe, let me say that the quality of your tomatoes is important in this dish as they are the principal ingredient. If you can, try to go for something like Hunt's Natural. You'll taste the difference.
Creamy, Flavorful Tomato Soup
1 28 oz can organic crushed tomatoes
½ cup heavy cream
1 onion diced
2 cloves garlic (3 if they’re small)
1 carrot (peeled and diced)
1 celery stalk diced
1 slice crispy, thick-sliced bacon
About 2-1/2 cups chicken broth (as long as its not too watery – I don’t know exact measurement)
¼ cup chopped fresh basil
1 bay leaf
1 pinch thyme
About a thumb’s length of fresh cayenne pepper
- could probably be substituted with 1/8 cup orange bell pepper and cayenne powder to taste
Salt, seasoned salt, and pepper to taste
I would add a bit of white wine (a couple TBs or so) too if you have it. I couldn’t find mine, so that’s the only reason I didn’t add any.
Put the celery, carrot, onion and garlic (and orange bell pepper, if you’re using it, not fresh cayenne) in pan w/ olive oil and cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the canned tomatoes, bacon, fresh cayenne pepper (if using) chicken broth, bay leaf, thyme, and butter. Simmer until vegetables are very tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. If using cayenne pepper, peel off skin and place 1/3 of pepper in soup and discard rest (don’t want it too hot). Add basil and cream. Puree in blender until smooth.