Friday, January 16, 2015

Soup's On: Jamie's Parmesan Tomato-Basil Soup

I have a confession to make.  I've never eaten or even tried any soup until almost seven years ago when the husband and I celebrated our first anniversary in San Antonio.  I don't even remember the name of the restaurant anymore but I do remember that he'd ordered a bowl of baked potato soup while I had a Caesar salad with no dressing.  (Funny story:  The waiter looked over at us and said, "Are you two getting married?"  We looked at each other and laughed and told him that we were still just dating, celebrating our first anniversary.  Maybe he was physic.... :) )  I decided to give soup a try that night, just to see if it was as bad as I'd always thought it would be.  I was surprised to see that it wasn't half bad but I always resisted eating soup until about two months ago.

Ryan took me to my favorite restaurant for my birthday, Mia Francesca.  That night, one of their specials was a tomato-basil soup.  So Ryan and I decided to order a small bowl and share it.  I wanted to have something different and since nothing I've ever gotten from there has been bad, I figured I'd give soup another try.  And I am SO glad that I did.  I'm telling you, I was considering not letting Ryan have any at all.  I'm pretty sure I could've eaten the entire bowl myself.

Now even though, for years, I've never liked soup, I don't mind making soup.  I'm happy to make soups and chilis for other people.  Ryan loves it when I make his favorite broccoli-cheese soup (even if I despise how cooking broccoli makes my kitchen smell).  And I make a killer slow cooker chili.  But I've never really had the desire to make soup for myself.  Because I didn't eat it!  (Go figure.)  After I'd had that delicious soup from Mia Francesca's, I knew I had to try and recreate this soup.  So I got right on it and I think I did a pretty good job.

(Yes, we have a new series starting.  Which I find slightly ironic since I love sharing recipes that I adore and I'm still not too crazy about soups.  Except this soup.  I'm sure world peace could happen with this soup.)

Jamie's Parmesan Tomato-Basil Soup
created by yours truly

2 - 28 oz. cans Crushed Tomatoes
1/2 c. Chicken Broth
1/3 c. Fresh Basil Leaves, finely chopped
1 c. 1% Milk
1/2 c. (4 oz.) 1/3 Less Fat Cream Cheese, softened
1 c. Parmesan Cheese
Salt and Pepper

Combine crushed tomatoes and chicken broth in a large stock pot and bring to a boil over high heat.
Reduce heat to simmer and cook for 30 minutes, uncovered, stirring occasionally.
Mix in your finely chopped basil, milk, and cream cheese and cook over medium heat until the cream cheese melts and the soup thickens (around 5 minutes).
Remove from heat and add in the parmesan cheese, stirring until its all melted.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Pour into bowls and serve alongside your favorite grilled cheese.  (No, the grilled cheese is not optional ;) )