Creamy Rustic Tomato Soup

Creamy Rustic Tomato Soup

Nothing beats comfort food on a cold and stormy day.  Whether it’s a snowstorm or rainstorm comfort foods are always welcome.  And what’s the best comfort food on a wet and windy day?  Grilled Cheese sandwiches dipped in a bowl of steaming creamy tomato soup of course!

Dipping a crunchy sandwich dripping with gooey cheese into a hot bowl of creamy tomato soup brings back awesome childhood memories sitting in my grandmother’s kitchen on a winter afternoon.  But for some reason my grandmother always served Campbell’s tomato soup to which she’d heat with milk instead of water.  I guess Filipino grandmas didn’t do homemade tomato soup, but her Arroz Caldo, chicken and rice soup, was always awesome.

I digress, back to tomato soup.  As an adult I still love creamy tomato soup.  When I was a newlywed grilled cheese and canned tomato soup was pretty much all I could make, having had lots of practice during my school days.  Then I suppose you could say my tastes got a bit more sophisticated and I actually learned how to cook.  Homemade tomato soup was something I finally figured out how to make.  It’s actually pretty easy, specially these days when there are immersion blenders and canned fire roasted tomatoes.

These days my love of creamy tomato soup has been passed down to my grandkids.  So I make a big pot of my Creamy Rustic Tomato Soup on stormy days.  Of course there’s grilled cheese for dunking!

Making this soup is very easy, it just takes a bit of time. I use Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes because I just love the Rustic flavors roasted tomatoes have.  To make the soup I sauté chopped onions and garlic, pour in the diced tomatoes, add spices and stock, then simmer for at least an hour.  I add lots of heavy cream, use my immersion blender to purée, then serve.

Ok, so maybe you don’t have an immersion blender, why not??, you really should consider investing in one, it’s a great kitchen small appliance; anyway don’t despair, you can use your blender, a bit messy and you must be very careful, but it’s doable.

Here’s a tip, if you are using a blender, cool the soup to almost room temperature, so you don’t get burned.  Pour  soup in the blender so it doesn’t overflow and leave room for blending space.  You may have to purée your soup in batches.  Return puréed soup to pot and heat before serving.  This is just one reason an immersion blender comes in handy!

So here’s my recipe!

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Creamy Rustic Tomato Soup

Ingredients:

3 Cans Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes

1 Small onion finely diced

3 Garlic cloves finely minced

1 Tbl. Olive Oil

1 Tsp. Dried Oregano

1 Tsp. Dried Basil

1 Tsp. Onion Powder

1 Tsp. Garlic Powder

Black Pepper to taste

16 oz.  Chicken Broth

2 Cups Heavy Cream

Fresh Basil or Oregano for garnish (optional)

Directions:

Heat Olive Oil in a Dutch Oven or large pot.  Sauté onions until they start to turn translucent.

Add Garlic and sauté another minute or two, don’t burn it.

Add spices and mix well.

Add tomatoes and broth.

Bring to a boil.

Turn heat down to low and simmer covered for about 1 hour.

Remove from heat.

Stir in cream.  Mix until well incorporated.

Purée carefully with a hand held immersion blender (if you don’t have one see tip above for using blender)

Blend until the soup is smooth and not lumpy.

If it’s too thick stir in more chicken broth until you get the consistency you want.  You may need to reheat if it gets too cold when  you add broth.

Ladle into bowls and garnish with fresh basil leaf or oregano sprig if desired.

Serve hot.

 

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Breakfast Cornbread Casserole with Ham and Kale

Breakfast Cornbread Casserole with Ham and Kale

The combination of ham and kale is traditional for a reason: it’s so unbelievably good. But this satisfying casserole is easy to adapt to other greens and meat pairings, depending on what you have on hand: Try cooked sausage with frozen spinach or Andouille with frozen mustard greens.

Level: Easy

Total: 1 hr 25 min

Prep: 10 min

Inactive: 15 min

Cook: 1 hr

Yield: 8 to 10 servings

Ingredients

 
Creamed corn:

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the baking dish

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Two 16-ounce bags frozen corn, thawed

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

1/2 pound thick-sliced deli ham, diced

5 ounces frozen kale (about 1 3/4 cups)

 

Cornbread topping:

3/4 cup yellow cornmeal

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon sugar

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

3/4 cup heavy cream

1 cup shredded sharp yellow Cheddar

Hot sauce, for serving

Directions

 

Special equipment:  a 2-quart oval baking dish

 

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 2-quart oval baking dish.

2. For the creamed corn: Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper, and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the corn and cream, and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until the mixture reduces in volume and bubbles rapidly, about 15 minutes. Transfer 2 cups of the corn mixture to a food processor, puree until smooth, then stir it back into the skillet. Fold in the ham and kale. Transfer the creamed corn to the prepared baking dish; set aside. Clean the food processor bowl.

3. For the cornbread topping: Pulse the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, sugar and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper in a food processor to combine. Add the butter, and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add the cream and 1/2 cup of the Cheddar, and pulse until the batter just comes together.

4. To assemble: Sprinkle the cornmeal batter over the creamed corn. (Don’t worry if the corn isn’t completely covered; the batter will puff and spread as it bakes.) Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup Cheddar. Place the casserole on a baking sheet, and bake until the corn is bubbling and the crust is puffed and golden brown, about 35 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes. Serve with hot sauce.


Breakfast Cornbread Casserole with Ham and Kale
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Breakfast Cornbread Casserole with Ham and Kale
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Ingredients
Creamed corn:
Cornbread topping:
Servings:
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