Meat Free Monday: Tomato Basil Soup

by Angela on December 6, 2010

It’s Meat Free Monday!  I hope you all had a great weekend. 

Last week Deena kicked off our one night a week meatless meal with Cheese Manicotti.  This week, the meatless recipe I tried out was Tomato Basil Soup. With the cold weather finally upon us, I wanted to prepare a soup for dinner that would warm the body and soul, and this one seemed like it would hit the spot.

Tomato Basil Soup

4 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced
4 cups tomato juice
14 leaves fresh basil
1 cup heavy whipping cream
½ cup butter
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Place tomatoes and juice in a stock pot over medium heat. Simmer for 30 minutes. Puree the tomato mixture in a blender or food processor along with the basil leaves, and return the puree to the stock pot.

2. Place the pot over medium heat and stir in the heavy cream and butter. Season with salt and pepper. Heat, stirring until the butter is melted.

I purchased the ingredients from my local Harris Teeter and the breakdown of the meal cost was as follows:

Tomato Juice ($1.50 for 46 oz. only need 32 oz) – $1.04
4 Organic Tomatoes ($2.49 per lb) – $8.90
Fresh Basil (living basil, $2.99 but only used about half) – $1.50
Organic Stick Butter – ($4.39 for 4 sticks only need 1 stick) – $1.10
Horizon Whipping Heavy Cream – ($3.39 on sale at HT for 2 pints only needed 1 pint) – $1.70
Total meal cost – $14.24

This may seem like a lot for one meal, but we had plenty of leftovers for the kids and I to eat for lunch the next day, as well as for me to have an extra bowl a few days later.

One thing I’d like to note, which is just my own personal preference, I do use real butter for cooking. Some fitness fanatics may frown upon this and won’t be able to stop thinking about the extra sit-ups they would need to do the next day for using real butter, but when I compare the ingredients of real butter to margarine or other spreads, real butter has one ingredient….sweet cream. Sometimes there is salt as well, but both of these ingredients I can pronounce and both of these ingredients I know what they are. Some of those other spreads have so much more in them that I would prefer not to put in my or my family’s bodies. I’d love to hear other’s opinions on this, however!

Now back to the recipe….It was a hit! It was very easy to make. Peeling the tomatoes was a bit tedious…I’ve never had to do that for a recipe before. But other than that, it was simple and quick. I knew my husband, who usually likes a grain side every night at dinner, would not be satisfied with just soup, so I paired it with a French baguette and side salad. I felt like a regular Olive Garden chef…soup, salad and bread combo, please! And the patrons (well most of them) had good things to say:

My seven year old said, “mmmm, mommy you made good soup for dinner.”

My three year old said, “I don’t like it.” One day that kid will eat something other than pasta and butter, I swear!

My 30+ year old said, “Hmm, this is pretty good.” And if you know my husband real well, you will know that this is actually a pretty high compliment!

And I personally really liked it. For lunch leftovers, I served it with grilled cheese (the three year old just ate the grilled cheese), and it tasted just as good reheated. I’ll definitely be making this again.

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admin November 8, 2010 at 9:34 pm

I’ve never tried it without the heavy cream, but I’m sure it can be made without it…it just won’t be as rich and creamy. Probably more like a broth? If you give it a try, let us know how it turned out!

Cinde November 8, 2010 at 6:59 pm

Do you have to use the heavy cream?? (calories!)

Liz November 8, 2010 at 4:17 pm

I am going to try this one! I just bought a can of tomato basil at HT today. Now I can try to make it myself. Thanks 🙂

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