This is a recipe that I originally borrowed from my friend Dan. This is quite easy to make and the ingredients are fairly inexpensive! It’s always a crowd pleaser!
Seriously, just make this. And some grilled cheese!
- 4 14.5 oz. cans fire roasted tomatoes (I typically use these)
- 2 yellow onions
- Light olive oil
- Garlic cloves (preference here, but I usually use at LEAST 6-10)
- Fresh basil
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Red pepper flakes
- Dice onions and garlic and sauté in olive oil until they start to color
- Add tomatoes and cook down for ~30 minutes stirring often
- Add stock, cream, and basil and simmer for ~10 minutes
- Blend until smooth
- Adjust seasoning if needed
- Serve topped with fresh basil
Start prep by dicing the onions. Decide how garlicky you want the soup and chop up those (I generally use 6-10 depending on the size of the cloves). Open the cans of tomatoes to have them ready for the next step of the process.
Heat up a few tablespoons of olive oil in a fairly large pot. Add the onion. Cook for about 5 minutes on medium heat and then add the garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Cook these until they just START to brown.
Note: You can go further with this step, if you want a little more of a sweet taste. Just be careful. I’d recommend lowering the heat, stirring more, and watching carefully.
Now, add all of the tomatoes. After adding, turn up the heat to bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook for ~20-30 minutes stirring frequently as it’s somewhat easy to have these burn. You want this to cook down until it’s fairly smooth.
Here is where all of the magic happens. Turn the heat down. Add the chicken stock and stir it in. This will cool it down enough to be able to add the heavy cream.
Add the heavy cream.
Give this a couple of minutes to simmer. Again, be careful with the heat.
While that is simmering, chop down some fresh basil leaves. You don’t have to be fancy – they’re going to get blended with everything else. Add the basil leaves, some salt and pepper to taste, and add the red pepper flakes.
Note about the red pepper flakes: These can be very deceptive. It may taste like you’ve added nothing, but after it sits over night, you could be surprised. In general, the first time you make this, be cautious with this step.
Let this cook for a few more minutes to let the flavors have a nice conversation.
This is the place where you should start making your grilled cheese sandwiches! I highly recommend bacon fat instead of butter for the outside, and cooper sharp cheese for the inside.
At this point, if you have an immersion blender, let it rip! Blend it until it’s smooth. If not, carefully ladle it out into a blender and pour that back into a second pot.
When you’re finished blending, give it a taste. Add more salt or pepper if needed. Be careful about adding more red pepper flakes as I wrote above. It really gets spicier over night as the oils from the flakes leech out.
Fire this stuff into a decorative bowl and serve with fresh leaves/strips of basil on top!
Originally Posted: 2/2/2011Chris Potako
Updated and Modified: 1/23/2021
One addition I made to this was adding a small can of tomato paste. It helped add an almost velvety texture to it once blended.