Cream of Tomato Soup

Something we enjoy regularly here in our household for dinner is a homemade cream soup. Coupled with a loaf of fresh baked bread it's satisfying and hot and delicious as well as being wonderfully healthy because it doesn't have all the preservatives and additives that commercially prepared foods do.

When it comes to Cream of Tomato Soup I don't have just 'one' favorite recipe. I typically just glance at a couple of them and then in my typical fashion I 'wing it' and make something similar to but not exactly like, any of the 3 or 4 recipes I may have glanced at to brainstorm how I wanted to make it that night. Sometimes I'm in the mood for a heavy cream based soup. Other times I make a lighter version with milk. Sometimes I add basil, other times I just want pure buttery tomato goodness and no spice.

Here is a version that is delicious if you like a light version with basil.

Cream of Tomato Soup

3 T butter
1/3 c onion, chopped
1 /4 c celery, chopped
1 t dried basil
2 T flour
Approximately 30 oz. tomato puree (2 - 15 oz. cans)
2 1/2 c chicken stock or vegetable stock (I use 2 1/2 c water and 2 bouillon cubes)
1 1/2 c milk or half and half
salt and fresh ground pepper

Melt the butter in a soup pot over medium. Add onion and celery. Cook until translucent and limp but not brown. Add the basil and flour, stir and then add the tomato puree and stock or broth. Lower the heat and simmer 20 minutes. Puree in batches in a blender or food processor until smooth. Return soup to the stove and add the milk. Season with salt and a bit of pepper.

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