It’s funny to think that as little as two years ago, I didn’t like tomato soup. I don’t know where this dislike stemmed from since I’m pretty sure I never even attempted to try tomato soup growing up and give it a fair chance.
What’s kind of cool and weird at the same time, is that with the help of this blog, my very first experience with tomato soup is even documented. While I might still have been on the fence about tomato soup after my first tasting, I can tell you, I’m a full-fledged lover now! Of course I’m partial to enjoying it with a grilled cheese sandwich to dunk in it. Or some buttered up crusty bread at the very minimum.
While I eat just about any variety of tomato soup now, my absolute favorite is Au Bon Pain’s Tomato Cheddar soup. Au Bon Pain soup was served in the cafeteria at my old company in Seattle and was a nice healthy alternative to the hamburgers that I was partial to. While I initially fell for the Potato and Leek soup, I found that the Tomato and Cheddar soup was a little bit of a healthier option.
The soups were on a rotating schedule, so the Tomato and Cheddar soup usually only made an appearance once a week. I swear, knowing that there was a yummy soup option in the cafeteria waiting for me at lunch just seemed to make the whole morning better. A good soup day was only surpassed by the cafeteria’s “International Week” where I might luck out one day by finding hummus and baba ganoush being served. These were accompanied by such diverse options such as Italian pepperoni pizza and Mexican beef tacos. Yes, the cafeteria certainly liked to branch out and introduce us to new foods during that week.
Er… but back to the tomato soup now. About a year ago, I swore to myself that I would try making a Tomato and Cheddar soup at home. Well, here we are a year later. But at least I finally did it! And yes, here I go again with the Greek yogurt…
Tomato, Basil, and Cheddar Soup
Makes 6 servings
- 2 28-oz. cans of diced tomatoes
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 2 cups of vegetable broth
- 1 cup of plain Greek yogurt
- 1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
- 1/2 cup basil, chopped, loosely packed
- 2 tsp of oregano
- 1 tsp sugar
- salt and pepper to taste
Directions: Over medium heat, add the olive oil to a large pot. Add the chopped onion and allow to cook until tender, about three to four minutes. Add in chopped garlic and cook for an additional two minutes. Pour in the two cans of tomatoes (juice and all) and the vegetable stock. Stir in the basil, oregano, sugar, and salt and pepper. Place the lid back onto the pot and allow to simmer ten minutes. At the end, stir in the Greek yogurt and cheddar cheese until well blended. Use either an immersion blender or food processor to puree the soup if you prefer a smooth texture. Garnish with chopped basil and grated cheddar cheese if desired.
I bought an immersion blender back in January with the specific thought of making soups in mind. This was my first time putting it to the test, and I have to say that I am impressed! For those that aren’t familiar with an immersion blender (I wasn’t a year and a half ago!), it’s a large stick that comes with a blade attachment at the end. It works as exactly as it’s named. If you immerse the bladed end into food (like a chunky soup), it will blend just as if you had transferred the food into a real blender. And don’t worry, as long as you keep the blades immersed, it makes absolutely no mess! But keep those blades immersed… or else you could end up with tomato soup over half of your kitchen. Ahem.