It literally hit me the other day, I had no idea where this craving came from, but I know it wouldn’t stop until it was satisfied. All I could think was, “I want grilled cheese and tomato soup”. The thought literally smacked me across the face. It was all I could think about – all day, every day. I had to end this madness! Sure I could have just popped open a can of Campbells tomato soup (there is nothing wrong with that, I’ve done it so many times before) but this time I wanted something homemade.
I get to researching to find the recipe that would cure my ailment. Whenever I’m looking for a recipe (ok, this sounds silly) but it has to speak to my taste buds. I think we all have different “taste styles” or taste preferences, so I gotta find the one that makes the most sense for me. When I finish reading a recipe and my tummy does that little gurgling “I’m getting hungry” sound – that’s when I know I’ve found a keeper. I whipped up this recipe, added a little bit of my taste style to it, and I’m happy to report my craving was cured! With the leaves changing and the temperature dropping below freezing, nothing is more satisfying than a bowl full of this delicious soup!
Grab a medium to large size pot to make the soup. (If you have a dutch oven I suggest using that!) Get the pot warm and add your EVOO (Extra-Virgin Olive Oil). While that is heating up, chop your 1 medium onion and finely chop your 2 cloves of garlic. Once that is done, toss them into the hot oil and stir until tender – about 5 minutes.
Then add in your 2 bay leaves.
Now, crack open your 3 cans of diced tomatoes and your can of vegetable broth. Take your basil leaves, place them one on top of the other and roll them together, almost creating a basil “burrito”. Run your knife down the “burrito” until you’ve chopped all the basil up into what looks like rings or strip. Measure out 1 tsp of brown sugar and a dash of red pepper flakes. *Tip: to release the flavor of these pepper flakes (or any dried spice), pour the spice into your palm and crush them with your thumb. This releases their fragrance and flavor. Add all four ingredients into the pot and stir to combine, adding salt and pepper to taste. Let this glorious mixture simmer on low for 15 minutes.
15 minutes later…
Put your swimming trunks on, dive down into the soup and dig out the bay leaves. (Remember that game where your mom would throw in those rings or stick into the pool and you had to go fish them out?)
Now it’s time for the heavy machinery. Grab an immersion blender, a regular blender, food processor, magic bullet – whatever you got – and blend the soup. Return it to the pot and keep on a low-medium heat. Add in your 1/2 cup of plain greek yogurt, stir to combine.
Mmmmm you can even see the flecks of basil in it, YUM!
Stir in your 1 cup cooked orzo. Finito! It is BEAUTIFUL! Ugh what I would give to have some warm, crusty grilled cheese to dip into that pot right now! That’s right, I said pot. I would break all the rules and completely forego the bowl. Bowls are for patient people ENJOY!
- 1 TBS olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 15oz. cans of diced tomatoes
- 1 15 oz. can of vegetable broth
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
- 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt (like Chobani or Oikos)
- 1 cup cooked orzo
- Immersion Blender - or anything that will blend the soup (blender or food processor)
- In a large pot (I used a dutch oven) heat up 1 TBS of olive oil.
- While that is heating up, chop your 1 medium onion and finely chop your 2 cloves of garlic.
- Toss them into the hot oil and stir until tender - about 5 minutes.
- Add in the 2 bay leaves
- Add in the 3 cans of diced tomatoes and the 1 can of vegetable broth.
- Chop the 1/4 cup of basil leaves into ribbons.
- Add in 1 tsp of brown sugar and a dash of red pepper flakes. Stir to combine, adding salt and pepper to taste.
- Simmer on medium-low for 15 minutes.
- Remove the 2 bay leaves. Blend the soup with either an immersion blender or a blender until well blended.
- Return it to the pot and keep on a low-medium heat.
- Add in your 1/2 cup of plain greek yogurt, stir to combine.
- Add in the 1 cup cooked orzo, combine it in the soup
- Ladle some into a bowl and enjoy with a side of grilled cheese!
- This soup freezes well! Freeze in individual plastic freezer bags or in larger air-tight glass containers. When you're ready to reheat, defrost in the fridge for 24-48 hours.