With the school year starting in less than two weeks, I’m in full on freezer meal mode. Soups are one of my favorite things to make and freeze because you can heat them up so quickly and serve them with a deli meat sandwich or panini for a super quick weeknight dinner. When life gets hectic, and I’m busy and tired when I get home from work, I rely on my freezer meal stash to keep me sane.
I decided to make a big batch of tomato basil soup today because my mom had some fresh basil for me and my husband loves tomato soup. This stuff is smooth and creamy and so delicious without very much effort at all.
This recipe uses a combination of fresh and canned ingredients and only involves about 10 minutes of actual prep. The rest of the time, it’s simmering on the stove letting the flavors combine and create an end product that is incredible.
In a large pot (this will make a lot of soup, some to eat now and some to freeze!), heat your olive oil and garlic over medium high heat. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook about ten minutes until they are tender.
Once tender, add all of your other ingredients (except the cream). Bring this to a light boil and then turn down to low. Cover and allow to simmer for about 45 minutes.
After 45 minutes, transfer the soup to your blender. Depending on the size of your blender, you may need to do half at a time. Blend on high until very smooth. You want a creamy soup rather than a chunky one for this recipe. This should take less then a minute in the blender because after simmering for so long, all of the ingredients are very soft.
Once all of your soup is smooth, pour it back into the large pot and stir in your heavy cream. At this point you want to taste the soup and adjust the salt and pepper if necessary. Allow the soup to simmer for about 30 more minutes before serving. Garnish with shaved parmesan and fresh basil.
To freeze, allow the soup to completely cool before transferring to a freezer bag. Refrigerate for a couple of hours before moving to the freezer. The soup will last for about 6 months in the freezer.
Tomato Basil Soup
3 cans whole or diced tomatoes
3 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 medium yellow or white onion, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
15 fresh basil leaves
1 cup tomato juice
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon sugar
2-3 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon minced garlic
Optional- shaved parmesan and more fresh basil for serving
1. In large pot over medium-high heat, add olive oil, garlic, onion, and bell pepper. Cook about 10 minutes until onion and pepper are tender.
2. Add fresh tomatoes, canned tomatoes, chicken or vegetable stock, tomato juice, fresh basil, sugar, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Bring to a light bowl, then turn down to a simmer. Cover, and allow to simmer for 45 minutes.
3. Move contents of pot to a large blender (depending on the size of your blender, you may have to separate into halves. Once contents are smooth, return to the large pot.
4. Add heavy cream. Taste to adjust seasoning. Add more salt, pepper, or red pepper flakes if necessary. Allow to simmer 30 more minutes before serving.
*For freezing, allow soup to completely cook before transferring to large freezer bag. Refrigerate for a couple of hours before moving to the freezer.