Sunday, November 15, 2009

Tomato Basil with Orzo Soup

I usually find a soup recipe that sounds good, I make it once, and don't like it enough to make it again. This tomato basil soup, however, is my one exception. I found this recipe a few years ago, and always find myself wanting to make it when the weather starts to get a little cooler. In fact, I made a big pot of it today just so I could have it for lunch all week long. It's a thick, hearty soup that's great for a meal on its own (but also makes a nice accompaniment to a grilled cheese). Even though there's a little bit of cream in it (which gives it a velvety texture), it's a pretty healthy soup since it's chock full of veggies.

The recipe came from the Wegmans web site (and you can actually just buy the soup already made in the store if you're lucky enough to live near a Wegmans). If I may go off on a small tangent: I love Wegmans. A lot. I didn't grow up near one, but my grandparents used to live in upstate New York (prime Wegmans territory). I have a lot of fond memories of my grandmother taking me there and letting me pick out a cookie or cupcake to eat while she shopped. So, when I moved to Princeton a few years ago and found out that there is a Wegmans here, it was a big nostalgic thrill for me. And if you're an eagle-eyed viewer of "The Office," you may have noticed some Wegmans brand products on the show (check out the cereals on top of the fridge or the soda cans).

See, Michael Scott likes Wegmans milk and cereal!  Anyways, back to the soup. If you do live near a Wegmans, check out the original recipe on their website, as it calls for some Wegmans-specific products. I've adapted the recipe so that you can make it with ingredients purchased just about anywhere. But seriously, get thee to a Wegmans if you've never been. Ok, ok, to the soup...

1 cup onion, diced fine
1/2 cup celery, diced fine
1/2 cup carrot, diced fine
2 Tbsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 28oz. cans crushed tomatoes with Italian herbs
1 carton (32 oz) vegetable stock
salt and cracked black pepper
2 jarred roasted red peppers, 1/4-inch dice
1 cup orzo pasta
1 cup light cream
2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil

Add onions, celery, and carrots and olive oil to large stockpot on medium-high. Cook, stirring, 6-7 min. Add chopped garlic. Cook 2 min, until vegetables are tender. 

Add all tomatoes; simmer about 10 min. Add stock; return to simmer. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 

Add red peppers and pasta. Simmer 8-10 min, stirring often, until pasta is firm but tender. Remove from heat. 

Temper cream: Pour cream into medium bowl. Add a few ladles of hot soup to cream to slowly raise cream temperature. Add cream mixture to soup; fold in basil. Ladle into warmed bowls to serve.

Makes 13 cups (about 8 servings)

Note: This makes a ton of soup, so make sure you use a big enough pot. Also, I sometimes like to freeze half of the batch. If you're going to freeze the soup, freeze it before you add the cream and basil. Follow the last step after you reheat the soup.

Download the recipe here!


Unknown said...

It's such a delicious soup! I made it once, and though I haven't quite perfected it as much as Bec, it was still darn tasty! I can't wait to try again. :)

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