I’m about to wow you with my culinary genius, friends! (Not really). But you will hopefully enjoy this recipe, and you can thank none other than my dear husband, who rarely asks for a particular meal, but was recently hungry for some good ol’ fashioned grilled cheese and tomato soup. Who am I to protest?

My philosophy for cooking is that it should:

1) taste good

2) be real, nourishing food

3) be easy – moderately difficult to prepare and understand, and requires only ingredients I usually buy/ have on hand/ will use for other recipes…this recipe fit the bill!

Here’s my Homemade Tomato Soup recipe, adapted from this one.

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2 (14-ounce) cans stewed tomatoes (original recipe calls for chopped canned tomatoes but I never buy them… they might caramelize better because they are smaller but diced seemed too small? Your choice :))
3/4 cup coconut oil (better for high heat)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 stalk celery, diced  we do not force this issue in my home but feel free to include it 🙂
1 medium carrot, diced
1 yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced (but hey, more garlic is always allowed!)
2 cups chicken broth
1 bay leaf
4 tablespoons butter (same applies for butter as w/garlic :))
2-3 tsp. Litehouse Instant Fresh Basil – use whatever you have, but this seems to be fresher than dried and doesn’t spoil as quickly as fresh! A major win in my book.
1/4 – 1/2 cup cream / optional (I used whole organic milk)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Strain the tomatoes, reserve juices, and spread onto a baking sheet, season with salt and pepper, to taste, drizzle with coconut oil (slightly more than 1/4 cup should be enough) and roast until caramelized, about 15 minutes (I used a bit too much oil, which meant they didn’t caramelize quite as much)

Meanwhile, in a saucepan, heat remaining coconut oil over medium-low heat. Add the celery, carrot, onion and garlic, cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the roasted tomatoes, reserved tomato juices, chicken broth, bay leaf and butter. Simmer until vegetables are very tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Add basil and cream/milk, if using. Puree with a hand held immersion blender until smooth (I used my Blendtec, which worked quite well, however I did learn the hard way with previous soups that you must slightly vent the lid if using a blender or your kitchen walls will get more of the soup than your tummies! 🙁 Don’t overfill the blender either. Or just spend a few bucks and get that handy little immersion blender!)

We also had sourdough grilled cheese sandwiches with this lovely and quite easy soup. Here is the grill pan I use…and love (with plenty of butter, of course!) Take a look at the image at this site – they are happy because they eat butter. A relatively good life philosophy, no?

One of these days, I will get to making my mom’s world-famous sourdough bread, but until I have time make time to add another fermented food to my regular prep (more on that later), the Aldi brand has been working just fine (That is, until my husband tastes my mom’s! Moral dilemma here, people.) Aldi also recently started selling organic wheat bread – not as good as homemade of course, but worth giving it a try!

Bon Appétit!

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Easy fall dinner – Homemade Tomato Soup

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