It’s a fact that when I was a kid, I ate so many tomatoes and tomato products in a few days that I had to go to the doctor because we thought I had scarlet fever again. I literally turned red and blotchy. I’ve learned to be reasonable about my love for tomatoes. Cooked tomatoes are especially beneficial for women, because of the high levels of lycopene. That’s just one of the many reasons why I heart tomato soup. It’s probably in my top three comfort foods of all time, which is perfect because grilled cheese is my number 1, always and forever.
I love the store-bought condensed soup because it tastes like sitting in my childhood kitchen on a cold day, dipping grilled cheese in that sweet, creamy goodness. Unfortunately, canned tomato soup is high in processed carbs and sugar and it’s a sodium bomb. This soup is just as cozy, but it’s packed with nutrition because it relies on blending cooked cauliflower to thicken it, rather than flour. My husband didn’t believe it even had cauliflower in it and he swears that you can’t sneak it in because it always has that sulfuric taste. This recipe is super simple and it cost about $12 to make. I hope you enjoy it and it gives you the same warm and fuzzy feeling I get when I eat it.
Creamy Tomato Basil Soup gets a health-boost from cauliflower. No one will ever even know it's in there!
- 2 tbs Olive Oil
- 1 medium Onion, roughly chopped (you are going to blend this, so uniform pieces don't matter)
- 3 cloves Garlic, peeled and smashed
- 1 6 oz. can Tomato Paste
- 5 cups Vegetable Stock or Broth (or Chicken)
- 1 14.5 oz. can Whole Peeled Tomatoes in juice
- 4 cups Cauliflower Florets (frozen is fine)
- 1 28 oz. can Tomato Puree
- 1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh Basil leaves
- 1/2 cup Heavy Cream
- Salt to taste
- Parmesan or Romano Cheese for serving (optional)
- Heat oil in soup pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and saute for 3 minutes, until softened.
- Add garlic and continue cooking for about two minutes, until the onions get a little browned.
- Add tomato paste and stir to combine. Cook for 4 minutes, stirring and spreading around the pan, so the paste darkens a little.
- Stir in stock, making sure tomato paste is incorporated, and add cauliflower and bay leaf. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to medium and cook uncovered until cauliflower is VERY soft, about 15 minutes.
- Remove bay leaf and stir in tomato puree. Cook for 5 minutes, until very hot.
- Add basil and heavy cream and blend until smooth, either with an immersion (stick) blender, or in batches in a blender. The blender will provide a smoother soup, but it will be a bit more time consuming. Either way, BE CAREFUL! It's hot!
- Adjust salt to taste and serve with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese, or croutons, or some fresh chopped basil.
* You can omit the cream, if you'd like. The cauliflower tricks you into thinking it's creamy. However, the heavy cream adds a sweetness to balance the acidity of the tomatoes. * You can speed up this recipe by using steam in the bag cauliflower and microwaving as directed until it's super soft. You should be able to smash it with light pressure from a spoon. If you choose to do this, simply add the cauliflower with the stock and just bring to a boil for about 5 minutes, rather than the 15 minutes in the recipe. *If the soup seems too thick, add stock or water to achieve desired texture.
A couple of tips:
You can speed up this recipe by using steam-in-the-bag cauliflower and microwaving as directed until it’s super soft. You should be able to smash it with light pressure from a spoon. If you choose to do this, simply add the cauliflower with the stock and just bring to a boil for about 5 minutes, rather than the 15 minutes in the recipe.
If the soup seems too thick, add a little stock or water to achieve desired texture.
Browning the onions and tomato paste gives this soup a cooked all day flavor. I’m including a pic of the lightly browned paste, spread out in the pot so you can see what the goal is. Browned, not burned.