There isn’t much better for a chilly Fall (election) day than tomato soup with a side of grilled cheese. Guaranteed to bring smiles and warm bellies for all! Pro tip? Use a bit of the extra pesto for a thin layer on the inside of your grilled cheese before you cook it. Delish!
Creamy Tomato Soup with Basil Pesto
- 2 Tbsp olive or avocado oil
- 1 large yellow onion diced
- 4-5 cloves of garlic diced
- 3 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 4-5 carrots peeled and roughly chopped into ½” coins
- 2 cans 14 oz each diced tomatoes
- 2 cans 14 oz each fire roasted tomatoes
- 1 can 14 oz tomato sauce
- 1 1/2 Tbsp dried basil
- 1 1/2 Tbsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp cayenne powder
- 2 cups chicken broth or water
- 1 block cream cheese
- 2 tsp sugar
- 2 cups fresh basil stems removed
- 3-4 cloves of garlic minced
- ¾ tsp kosher salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1/3 cup nuts of choice I like to use pine nuts or slivered almonds; ensure nuts are unsalted and can be roasted
- ½ cup to ¾ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup to 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium high heat. Add onions and lightly brown, about 2-3 minutes. Add carrots, garlic, salt and pepper. Cook 4-5 more minutes.
- Add the next 8 ingredients (through chicken broth). Stir well. Bring soup to a boil. Once boiling, turn down to low and add cubed cream cheese and sugar. Stir to combine. Cover soup and simmer on low for 25 minutes.
- While soup is cooking, make basil pesto. Combine all pesto ingredients except oil together in food processor. Begin to blend and drizzle olive oil into the blender while going to emulsify. Adjust the level of olive oil needed to drive desired consistency. Scoop into bowl and put to the side until ready to use.
- Using an immersion blender or working in batches using a food processor, puree soup until smooth. Return to the stovetop and keep warm on low heat.
- Plate your soup with 2 scoops of soup in each bowl. Drizzle with basil pesto and more black pepper to serve.