It is that time of year again, when one wants to get in the kitchen to potter about and cook something warm and comforting. I love to make a quick batch of tomato basil soup on these cool, crisp days of autumn. It is simple to prepare and and makes a delicious compliment to the buttery crunch of a grilled cheese sandwich. This simple and tasty soup takes you back to the joys of childhood.
Tomato Basil Soup
1 large can whole tomatoes, or 1 quart jar of whole tomatoes
1 carrot finely diced
1 celery stalk finely diced
1 onion finely diced
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons dried basil, and fresh if you have it
1 teaspoon dried parsley, and fresh if you have it
1 stick butter
1/3 cup all purpose King Arthur Flour
2 cups whole milk
1 quart homemade chicken stock or broth
Place a heavy bottomed dutch oven or pan on the stove and melt the stick of butter.
Add the finely diced carrot, celery, and onion, along with 1 teaspoon salt to the cooking vegetables. Saute until caramelized a bit.
While the vegetables are cooking, warm the milk in a saucepan until gently warmed through.
When the vegetables are caramelized, add the one third cup flour and whisk for a minute or two on medium heat. This is how you make a roux which will form the base of your soup. Once the flour has had a moment to cook, gently whisk in the warm milk. This will quickly thicken to a paste.
Add the whole tomatoes, one teaspoon salt, one teaspoon pepper, the dried herbs, and fresh if you have them. You will want to stir this all together really well. Next, you will add the chicken stock and stir again.
If you have one, get out an immersion blender and blend together until it is smooth. Cook on low for about fifteen to twenty minutes. Garnish with chopped fresh basil and serve with homemade bread, or grilled cheese.