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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Recipes | The Best Tomato Basil Soup & The Best Grilled Cheese | Dinner Ideas

Tomato Basil Soup

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3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 - 14 oz. cans of crushed tomatoes
1 - 14 oz. can of whole tomatoes
2 cups of stock (chicken or vegetable)
1 tsp of sea salt
1 tsp of sugar
1/2 tsp of fresh ground black pepper
1/4 cup of heavy cream
3 tablespoons of fresh basil, julienned
parmesan cheese

In a saucepan, saute garlic in olive oil on medium heat for 1 minute - being careful not to burn the garlic.  Add the crushed tomatoes.  Add the whole tomatoes one at a time, squeezing them into the pan to break them up.  Add the juice from the whole tomatoes, as well.  Add chicken stock, salt, pepper and sugar.  Cook the soup on medium at a simmer for 10 minutes.  

To finish, reduce the heat to low and stir in heavy cream and basil.  Serve topped with parmesan cheese or a grilled cheese sandwich.  Get the recipe for The Best Grilled Cheese Sandwich here.

The April Collection
Dew covered green grass on cool mornings, warm afternoons, dirt under my fingernails, mud on my boots and air scented with lilacs. April, I'm so glad you are here.
For this collection, I've put together some classic favorites like the Robin's Egg Blue Enamelware and Willow Vases and added some fabulous Lilacs in the form of pot holders, aprons and table linens. I love the combination of these soft colors that are ushering in a casual and relaxed spring season that calls for dinners outside, too much time spent in the garden, fresher, lighter recipes (except those chocolate cupcakes!) and time spent playing in the grass.

Perfect for Mother's Day, a birthday or just yourself.  I love the cottage prints on these aprons - even makes my mudroom look charming : )

Lilac Linens

I can't get enough of this lilac pattern in our house right now.  This airy repeated pattern is giving every room in my house a cottage feel.  I normally lean to stripes, or blocks of muted, natural colors, but this entire collection has turned my house into a quaint english cottage, and I LOVE it.

Do you remember when Tessa posted about a Southampton Cottage that repeated a floral pattern in every room?  It was so fresh and charming, chic.  It made me long for a breezy beach cottage.

The Lilac print is just a touch feminine with tiny bits of a lavender/pink shade, but reads green from a distance making it the perfect, understated way to use a floral pattern.  I am just smitten and love how transforming it is for each space in our home.

Set of 4.

The favorite lilac pattern is repeated here with a triple band border around the perimeter.  

Lilac Tea Towel

No collection is complete without a tea towel!  I'm contemplating turning some of these into cafe curtains in Emma's bathroom.  Yes, I'm addicted to this pattern.
Everyone needs a fresh set of potholders.  I've never seen a fresher version!  Now this is a potholder I would actually use when we have company... instead of the very tattered ones that were in my kitchen drawer!  These would make a great gift for a wedding shower, too.

Here is my pattern again : )

Our white and ivory bedroom now feels like it is a cozy cottage room with just the addition of this lilac covered pillow cover and some fresh lilacs on the bedside.  

Lilac Meena Tablecloth, $68
The other tablecloth that coordinates with this collection is the Lilac Meena Tablecloth.  It has a small graphic floral print in a pale lilac/pink color with the lacy lilacs at the border.  You can see it coordinates beautifully with the Lilac Napkins.

Lilac Jasna Tablecloth, $68

I already have my table set for Mother's Day : )  It would also be the perfect setting for a baby or bridal shower, or birthday.

The scent of soft lilac is so precious to me.  My neighbor has a huge collection of lilac bushes, and when the warm sun hits them it perfumes my entire backyard.  I walk out onto our porch and breath so deeply every chance I get.
Poured in a Fleur de Lys French Tumbler, this is my favorite essential.  The tumbler can be used as a drinking glass or vase when the candle is finished.

This candle is just luxurious.  When I burned the sample, I just couldn't keep away from it.  The breeze coming in our window, swirled in with this candle is so peaceful and special.  It is clean, it is floral and fresh at the same time - one of those candles that fill your nose and you just can't get enough of.

This vase gives such an earthy and casual look to anything it contains.  I will use it for flowers and also to put candles in 
You know I love basics - essentials.  In fact, I love basics so much that in my kitchen you will only find the basics - when it comes to cooking utensils.  I stick with wooden spoons and white rubber scrapers.  I am a stickler, constantly whittling down to the basics so things don't get overcrowded.  
Set includes two wooden spoons, one wooden spatula, one large scraper and one small scraper. 

I had a massage a couple of years ago and the therapist shared insights on body brushing.  There is nothing more exhilarating (or exfoliating!) than using a body brush on your legs, feet and back when you are in the shower.  Completely transformative and helps circulate energy throughout your body. 

I use this face brush every morning and night along with my facial cleansing oil.  It exfoliates and smooths my entire face - without a huge price tag of an electric one.

Wooden Hair Brush, $14

Why are simple, pretty essentials so hard to find?  I love the natural colors and materials used in this brush.  It keeps my bathroom feeling soothing, instead of something bright and plastic.

I use all of the brushes in my Kitchen Brush Set, but these are the two that I need to replace on a regular basis because they get used so much.

Brought back by popular demand, a favorite from last summer's collection - Robin's Egg Blue Enamelware.  
Nothing says summer entertaining like enamelware - especially, in this perfect Robin's Egg (better known as Seaside around here) Blue color.  It is the perfect lightweight service-ware for using outdoors or on picnics.  Every time I use these, I love them even more. 
Each piece of Enamelware will hold its own characteristics and slight blemishes, due to its casual style.  Please see closeup photo for reference.
This platter is just the perfect size to display veggies from the grill, a big slab of brisket (shown here) or a long pound cake going down the center with whipped cream and berries piled around.  

I use this bowl all of the time.  It is perfect for a big salad or vegetables, like this french potato salad, or...
I love using the Big Basin Bowl ice as a cooler for beer or presseco. 
Last year I showed this large round platter with piles of fresh seafood, potatoes and corn - our favorite summer seafood boil.  The options are endless for this - even filled with chips and a bowl for guacamole would be perfect.

This is fun for anything (and always the first to sell out!)- especially a big pile of freshly washed berries.

Great for appetizers or a veggie platter.  This also is a great way to display rows of sliders, or cupcakes. 

The cutest thing for summer.  I use mine for small scoops of ice cream, or individual crumbles... also topped with ice cream. 

I put peach ice cream in the mini pots and topped them with tiny, super soft snickerdoodle cookies - a favorite combo.

I love these little 6" round plates.  There are always what I need when we are entertaining - to put out with snacks, appetizers or next to a tray of cupcakes.  Since they are enamelware, they add just enough of color and charm to any setting, whether it is inside for Mother's Day or outside for a BBQ.  


  1. Gorgeous! Nothing says comfort food more than a big bowl of tomato-basil soup. Yum. Lovely photo, too, BTW. :-)

  2. Yum! I will definitely be trying this recipe. That soup looks divine!

  3. Gorgeous and comforting. Makes me want to curl up in my jammies with a big bowl of this and a grilled cheese sandwich.

  4. Delicious. There is nothing in this world that can compare to a bowl of hot velvety tomato soup on a bleak, chilly day...espcially when there's a gooey grilled cheese on the side!

  5. Looks great! How many serving does it make?

  6. oh that looks delicious... gotta try this, thanks for the recipe! :)

  7. Allie, the soup should make a little more than 4 cups... since I like a big, healthy serving.

  8. Just made this for lunch and it was delicious! I will make this again for sure!

  9. I love this tomato soup! I'm about to make it for the 3rd time tonight and I can't stop thinking about it! Even better than BoudinSF :)

  10. deliciousssssssssss

  11. I saw this on Pinterest and HAD to come and get the recipe. I can't wait to try it out! Thanks so much for sharing!! cute blog.

  12. just made this.. VERY yummy :)

  13. I saw this on Pinterest too, and hopped over here for the recipe...made it this afternoon and it is scrumptious! I did cut down on the cream...I like my tomato soup really tomato-y, and the cream kinda cuts the flavor for me. But seriously good food right here!

  14. We must say your recipes look awesome. Very inviting photos. A blog for true foodies...

  15. dede goff4:52 PM

    I also saw this recipe on Pinterest...I'm definitely going to make this. Looks Delicious. Thanks for sharing!!! : )

  16. I've made this TWICE this week. Best soup ever!

  17. I made this tonight for dinner! So tasty!

  18. Traci8:22 PM

    I found your tomato basil soup recipe on Pinterest - I made it tonight along with the grilled cheese and they were fabulous!!! I have been trying to find a good tomato soup recipe and have not had much luck until now! Thanks for sharing the recipe, can't wait for leftovers tomorrow!

  19. I made the Basil Tomato Soup today for lunch. Absolutely divine. My hubby and I have never liked tomato soup, but your recipe looked so amazing. And it WAS! A definite keeper in our house :) Thankful to have it in time for the winter :) Thank you!

  20. The grilled cheese and tomato basil soup look MOUTHWATERING. I put it up on my blog for my readers to see as well. Love your blog, Im now a follower!

  21. Thank you for this recipe. It is a new staple in my kitchen:) The basil just makes it fabulous!

  22. Anonymous12:13 PM

    Can't wait to try this recipe! I want to make it in bulk so I'm wondering if you've ever tried freezing it?

  23. Anonymous9:18 AM

    made this yummy soup last week and we all enjoyed it. I even wrote aobut it here

  24. Anonymous10:32 AM

    made this last night. it was delicious!!! thank you! :)

  25. I made this last night but I added an onion with the garlic. It is so yummy! Thanks for sharing!

  26. Anonymous10:15 PM

    I found this on pinterest and made this today. It was easy and delicious! Will definitely be making again in the future. Thanks for the recipe!

  27. I have to say, I will never buy tomato soup again! This recipe is amazing! Thank you for sharing!

  28. Anonymous2:54 PM

    Wonderful recipe, easy and delish. I did substitute Greek yogurt for the cream to cut calories and it was perfect. Thanks, I will be checking more of your recipes.

  29. I've been thinking about this all day! I am on my way to the groceries to get the missing items! It's what's for dinner!

  30. OMGoodness so yummy!! My 9 year-old grands said 'grandma this is better than Mimi's Cafe!'. And if I do say so myself it was!!!

  31. Made this last night for dinner--I loved it!! Thank you for the great recipe.

  32. Anonymous4:09 PM

    all i can say is YUMMY.........YUMMY.......THIS WAS GREAT SOUP.

  33. Phyllis9:02 PM

    I had looked for a good tomato basil soup and had not found one until I saw this one. I don't like my soup too spicy. This is just right!! Thanks. I'll be making it again.

  34. Patti8:08 PM

    Jenny----Love this soup. I've got the ingredients to make my 3rd batch this winter. :) Thanks for sharing!

  35. Anonymous10:36 PM

    Absolutely DELISH! So excited I found this on Pinterest. I am now going to follow you on FB for somemore recipes!

  36. Anonymous6:50 PM

    Soooooo delicious! I had dill rather than basil and it still tasted great!

  37. Anonymous9:58 PM

    I'm reading these reviews and I totally disagree! The soup tastes like eating tomatoes out of can. Just being honest.

    1. Anonymous11:45 PM

      Agree. I love tomatoes, so I dealt with it, but I knew my husband wouldn't be a fan. He ate it (most of it, once smothered I cheese). Not good, but I guess not bad. Just chunky , like you said, like eating canned tomatoes.
      ....on the plus side, the dog Loved It. By the way, I cook/bake all the time and am also a chef for a restaurant....just like easy recipes now and then. I blame myself for using canned tomatoes....but at the same time, they work well in many recipes.

  38. Anonymous10:24 PM

    I agree, it's very acid... it is missing something. Probably more cream.

  39. This comment has been removed by the author.

  40. I just made this soup last night- I added 2 more Tbsp of basil and a dash more cream. I thought it was fantastic! Made in one pot in under 20 minutes, so time-and-clean-up friendly. I tip my hat to you, Ms. Steffens Hobick!

  41. Anonymous10:58 PM

    Can't wait to try this! Sounds so yummy and comforting:)

  42. Anonymous9:52 PM

    This was good...thanks for the recipe...I used chicken broth but will probably use veg broth next time. I added a tiny pinch of baking soda to reduce the acidity of the canned tomatoes I had on hand

  43. I will be giving this recipe a try. Looks so good I can smell it :D

  44. Your blog is great and i also know Allen always adds balsamic vinegar to his soup. Try this kind of recipe..very great..

  45. Made this soup tonight. OMG, so Good!!! Thanks for the recipe. :)

  46. Made this soup tonight. OMG, so Good!!! Thanks for the recipe. :)

  47. I love tomato soup with grilled cheese. Thanks for the recipe! Going to use it against mine:

  48. This comment has been removed by the author.

  49. Anonymous7:59 PM

    I made this recipe this week and it was so YUMMY!! Thanks and I am glad I found it on Pinterest! Very much a keeper!

  50. April7:31 PM

    I just made this soup for the first am I glad I doubled the recipe! I plan to freeze this in individual servings and enjoy for lunch in the weeks to come. Thanks!

  51. Anonymous6:40 PM

    im making this tonight!

  52. Anonymous1:53 AM

    Pregnant and loved the soup! Been craving a good tomato basil soup, now I can make it. Thanks!!

  53. Does anyone know how many people this serves? I want to make it for my family.

    1. Anonymous8:34 PM

      makes about 4 big bowls

  54. Anonymous9:18 AM

    Made this last night..... WONDERFUL.......If you didn't like it, you did something wrong! the kids loved it with a grilled cheese sandwich. My 6 year old liked to dip his in his sandwich in the soup...Yummy

  55. Anonymous8:47 PM

    My absolute favorite meal! I used uour recipe as a baseline and use fresh tomatoesinstead of canned whole, I also use coconut milk instead of cream, and lots of it, and lots more basil. Thanks for a great recipe!
    Comfort food for me, especially with freshly made sourdough.

    1. Anonymous3:05 PM

      Thanks for this idea with the coconut milk - made it and LOVE it!

  56. Oh my goodness... It tastes so damn good!!

  57. Anonymous4:04 PM

    i would love suggestions for using fresh tomatoes, as my garden is spitting them out like crazy right now!

    1. A friend ask me for a recipe because of all the fresh tomatoes in her garden. I came up with a tomato, basil soup with a touch of parmesan cheese. You can check it out at

  58. Delicious!!! I made this tonight and I could have eaten it all! But had to share with my family :) I used fat free half and half instead of heavy cream since I am trying to cut down on fat. I'm sure if I ever tried it with heavy cream nothing else would do, but it was really good with the half and half. I added a little grated parmesan into the soup as it was cooking. This is definitely a keeper! Thanks so much for sharing!

  59. This soup was so amazing!! Just found your blog recently and love it! I can't wait to try more of your recipes and I love your design tips. Thanks for sharing!! PS your fam and your lil girl are so cute :)

  60. Anonymous6:25 PM

    We are having a very cool fall day and I made this soup in the crock pot this morning. It tastes amazing and will make again.

  61. Anonymous2:34 PM

    All I have to say is WOW, this was amazing! Best tomato soup recipe ever!!!

  62. Anonymous2:35 PM

    PS: love your blog! Can't wait to try more of your recipes! I am already planning a ladies lunch to make the tomato soup recipe again!!!

  63. Terra W9:06 AM

    omg!! soup and sandwich are both so friggen good!! will be making this combo again and again!!!

  64. does anyone know how many people this recipe serves?

  65. I found this on Pinterest and absolutely LOVE this soup. Even my tomato-hating husband agreed that it was so good! Have you ever made it with a crockpot? I would love to take it to a all day scrapbooking event, but it would need to be in a crockpot for about four hours.

  66. I found your recipe on Pinterest. A friend of mine found it from me. We both made it separately & our families loved it! Thank you!

  67. Our family loved this - thank you!

  68. I doubled the recipe and it made enough for at least 10 people. It was delish!! I roasted fresh tomatoes in the oven first before blending them and adding them to the soup, but for a quick midweek dinner I could totally see using the cans. Fresh basil made a big difference and I had also added a small diced onion. Would definitely make again, thanks!!

  69. Delicious and already read your post Darcyeats its true there is nothing in this world that can compare to a bowl of hot velvety tomato soup on a bleak
    Personal Chef To Go

  70. Tomato is my favorite thing. And thanks to share this recipe.

  71. Anonymous10:16 AM

    Looks really good. Just a question - it seems it would be pretty salty with broth, canned tomatoes, and sea salt. Are you using unsalted tomatoes or broth? Thanks

  72. I am thinking to do some experiment with this recipe. I am thinking to add ginger garlic paste for different taste.


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