Meatless Monday: Tomato, Basil and Cheddar soup

Sunday was all about pre-prep. I made about 60 percent of Monday’s dinner and the sauce for Tuesday’s dinner in the space of about an hour. I also managed to burn a tray of croutons that were going to go with the soup, a not-so-great revelation of the day and likely the product of too many pots on the stove and a No Reservations rerun the television. The soup goes together quite easily and without a tremendous amount of simmering or stewing. All told, you could do this in an hour or so. I did everything but incorporate the dairy on Sunday, finishing that after work on Monday.

WHAT WORKED: The Greek yogurt, though I’m wondering if Greek is the right name. The episode of No Reservations I was watching made me think that it was more Turkish yogurt than anything. Semantics aside, the yogurt brought creaminess and a mild tartness without the calories or fat of heavy or sour cream.

WHAT DIDN’T: It’s not that the basil didn’t work, but it was an insignificant flavor, drowned out by the dairy and tomatoes.

WHAT DID THE WIFE SAY: “This is really good. What am I eating or do I have to ready about it tomorrow?”

WILL IT MAKE ANOTHER APPEARANCE: Likely. We’ll add it to the soup rotation and break the quart of leftovers out of my freezer sometime this winter. Tomato, basil and cheddar soup
Adapted from More Fruit Please

  • 3 15-oz. cans of diced tomatoes
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 cups of vegetable broth
  • 6 oz. of plain Greek yogurt
  • 4 oz. cheddar cheese, cubed
  • 1/2 cup basil, chopped, loosely packed
  • 2 tsp of oregano
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste

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. (If you like, everything up until this point can be done in advance.) Stir in the cheddar cheese and melt. Add the Greek yogurt and stir until well blended. Use either an immersion blender, food processor or blender to puree the soup if you prefer a smooth texture. Garnish with chopped basil and grated cheddar cheese if desired.

Jared’s note: If you are going to use an immersion blender, keep it submerged at all times. Otherwise…splatter.

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