Captain’s Cuisine: Tomato-Basil Parmesan Soup

Courtesy of Jo Emanuelson

Courtesy of Jo Emanuelson

Since it is fall, I’m going to share with you a magical way to make a magical soup.  It requires some prep time and some patience, but you won’t regret it.

*makes 6-8 servings

2 (14 oz) cans of diced or whole, peeled tomatoes, drained
1 c. onion, diced
1 c. carrots, diced
1 c. celery, diced
1 T. fresh oregano (1 t. dried)
1/4 c. fresh basil, diced (1 t. dried)
4 c. chicken broth or water
1/2 bay leaf
1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. butter
1 c. Parmesan, grated or shredded
2 c. half & half -OR- skim milk
1 t. Kosher salt
1/4 t. pepper

1.  In a large stockpot over med-low heat, combine tomatoes, veggies, herbs, broth, and the bay leaf. Let cook, stirring occasionally for two hours. Make sure to scrape the bottom of the pot with a spoon to make sure nothing burns.
2.  (Opt.) 30 minutes before the soup is done cooking, melt butter in a skillet over low heat.
3. (Opt.) Add the flour, whisking constantly for 5-7 minutes.
4.  (Opt.) Slowly stir in 1 cup of soup to the pan. Gradually add another 3 c. and stir until smooth. Carefully add back into stockpot soup. This step thickens the soup, but it is fine to skip it. You just won’t have soup that can be spread on toast.
5. Stir in Parmesan, half & half [or milk], and salt and pepper. Add additional spice to taste. Allow to cook another 15-30 minutes or until desired consistency is reached. Top with freshly grated Parmesan. Serve hot!

 For more information and a rather touching love letter to tomatoes, please visit my blog here.