Tomato Basil Loveliness

I was heading home from Boston a few weeks ago and stopped to get some soup before my bus (yeah megabus) left. I like soup, especially in the winter, but I'm always sort of wary of cafe soups, since they tend to be stuffed with all matter of extra vegetables, potatoes, and spices until you feel like you're eating a produce rack. But, I like tomatoes and basil and I was at Cosi, which is famous for simple and overpriced food (and the s'more setup), so I figured it was safe to take a chance. I started to eat and was delighted--it was creamy, delicate, and delicious, and, surprisingly, seemed to be made with only 2 or 3 ingredients.

After I got home, I looked up recipes online until I found a couple I liked and tried it. It came out wonderfully--incredibly fast and easy to prepare, easy-to-find ingredients (I used canned tomatoes but fresh basil), very economical, and--if you adjust the roughly half-gallon of cream recommended by some recipes--very healthy. I like making it on cold days (which are more frequent since my landlords, who control the heat for the whole house, leave the thermostat on sixty during the day, when I'm home. I'm wearing sweatpants, two sweaters, a blanket, and a shiver).

Recipe adapted from allrecipes

4 tomatoes - peeled, seeded and diced (canned is fine)
4 cups tomato juice
14 leaves fresh basil
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup lowfat milk
1 tablespoon butter
salt and pepper to taste

Place tomatoes and juice in a stock pot over medium heat.
Simmer for 30 minutes.
Puree the tomato mixture in a food processor or blender along with the basil leaves, and return the puree to the stock pot.
Place the pot over medium heat, and stir in the heavy cream and butter.
Season with salt and pepper.
Heat, stirring until the butter is melted.
Do not boil.

Image from GoodEatsBlog

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