Can you believe it – it’s me! I’m back(ish). I’ve had far too many requests for me to return to my blog, so that is precisely what I’m going to do (trying…). It’s easy to become distracted and/or complacent, which is exactly what I’ve been up to the last year. I have had a wonderful year of memories with my family, closest friends and new friends! In case you’re curious, here’s a quick hit list of the year’s events in hindsight:
- Ladies winter wine party 2015
- A trip to Sonoma County, CA with some of our best friends
- Lake time at cabins which are not ours 🙂
- Ladies summer wine party
- My first trip to Moondance Jam with a mini-flood and tons of rockin’ music
- State softball tournament with our first place team
- Annual canoe trip down the Namekogen River in WI
- Annual end of the summer party
- Las Vegas for bachelor/bachelorette party
- Wedding in beautiful Saint Paul for aforementioned bachelor and bachelorette
- Apres Ski themed Friendsgiving
- Hunger Games marathon party
- New Years Eve bash
- Snow tube soiree
- Scuba diving trip to Bonaire
- and finally, a yet another ladies winter wine tasting party
Wow, quite a year! And these are only highlights. Oddly many ending in “party”.
It’s now the deepest part of winter, and the current temperature as I write this is 5 degrees. I don’t even want to mention the wind chill over the last few days. My tan from Bonaire is fading fast, and I have been craving something to warm me to the core. Soup seemed to be the answer here…
Tomato soup. Chunky tomato soup. Chunky tomato basil soup. What could be better. I choose a recipe with canned tomatoes for two reasons. 1. Its the middle of winter, so I don’t have an overwhelming amount of tomatoes flourishing in my garden (try none). 2. I find that fresh tomatoes tend to be a bit more watery than their canned counterpart. I used whole peeled tomatoes so I could control chunkiness, but you could use diced if you prefer. It would be far less messy!
I loved this soup because it tastes creamy and rich, but there is no cream. There is a touch of butter, which surprisingly adds a luxurious texture. The basil gives a nice fresh balance to the acidity of the tomatoes. Overall a perfect soup to cure your winter blues!
Chunky Tomato Basil Soup
Source: Adapted from The Roasted Root
2 onions, finely chopped
8 cloves garlic, minced
3 oz fresh basil leaves, chopped
3 28 oz cans whole peeled tomatoes with juices
2 cups vegetable stock (I used chicken broth as that’s what I had on hand)
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 tsp baking soda
salt and pepper to taste
- In a large soup pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until soft and slightly browned, about 10 minutes.
- Add garlic and cook another 3 minutes.
- Open canned tomatoes and dice, reserving juices. Add tomatoes and juices, stock, basil and butter to the onions. Stir until butter is melted and incorporated.
- Add baking soda (*Note: this will cause the soup to bubble up, but bubbles subside after stirring for a minute).
- Bring soup to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes. Serve and enjoy!