It is for sure soup season. It's cold, it gets dark by 5pm, I am forever layered in fuzzy clothing, yup it is winter. When it is cold like this, all I want to do is curl up with something warm to sip on and hide under a blanket.
Fun fact, I was not a normal girl growing up. Meaning I never really got cold, I was always hot and would easily sweat. Now I feel like I am cold all the time! I laughed and said to one of my close girl friends "Is this how it feels to be a normal girl" she laughed and said welcome to the club. It is something so strange to me, to just have this constant chill going on. How do my lady friends here stay warm?
I find now because I get cold so easily all I really want to eat is warm soups and sip on some hot drink. This soup is not your typical tomato soup, it has lots of good chunks of veggies and is topped with a Parmesan cheese crisp. This soup also uses roasted garlic, which you can find great instructions on Simply Recipes on how to make it.
Tomato Parmesan Soup
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
1 medium onion, peeled and diced
2 medium celery stocks, diced
1 head of garlic roasted
1 can of tomato paste
2 -12 ounce jars of whole stewed tomatoes
6 cups of chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup of heavy cream
2 cups of fresh Parmesan
1/2 tablespoon of dried basil
6 large basil leaves, rolled and cut thinly
1/2 cup of basil pesto
salt and pepper to taste
Roast your garlic and set aside.
In a large pot heat up the olive oil on a medium high heat. Add the diced veggies. Coat the veggies with the oil and saute the vegetables for 3 minutes or until the are slightly tender. Add the roasted garlic.
Add the tomato paste, stewed tomatoes and chicken stock. Season with salt, pepper and the dried basil. Taste and adjust to what you like. Turn heat down to a low heat and allow to simmer for 1 hour, stirring every 10 minutes or so. Once the vegetable are very tender then remove the soup from the heat.
With an immersion blender, gently pulse around 6 times. You want to break up the vegetables, but not make the soup completely creamy. Place the pot back on the heat and add half of the Parmesan cheese and half of the cream. Stir the soup together and cook for an additional 10 minutes on a low heat.
During the last 10 minutes of cooking you want to make your Parmesan cheese crisps. Heat oven to 400F. Using parchment paper or silicone baking mat, add 1 tablespoons of freshly grated Parmesan cheese into 6 piles. Gently pat them down, make sure there is plenty of room in between. Bake for 5 minutes or until golden brown and crisp looking. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
Serve the soup into bowls, add 1 tablespoon of pesto to each bowl, a sprinkle of the fresh basil, drizzle a bit of the cream, and then top it off with a Parmesan crisp.
This my friends is what they call the holy trinity of cooking. It is the basic base to most stocks and various dishes. You can't go wrong with an even amount of onions, carrots and celery.
Aren't those cheese crisps just lovely looking! They just add some nice texture to your soup, and hey it's more cheese? How can you go wrong!
This soup is just super cozy, and will warm you from the inside out. It has so many wonderful flavours through out as well. I feel like the pesto adds a bit of earthiness to it, and the cream adds richness and creaminess.
If you have a crock pot this soup could easily be made in that as well. Instead of sauteing the veggies before hand just add everything except the cheese and cream into the pot and set on low for 6 hours or high for 3. Then add the cream and cheese for the last hour to the cooking time and finish it off by following the last instructions.
Happy Friday everyone! Have a great weekend, and remember those who fought to make our country free. Lest we forget.
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