One of my guilty pleasures of the tax season is takeout from Cosi. I discovered Cosi while I was traveling for non-profit work in Morristown, New Jersey and fell in love with the flatbread sandwiches. I even had Cosi cater an event I hosted in D.C. a couple years ago just so I could get my fix. So, you can imagine my excitement when Cosi came to Minnesota and one location was right by Ryan's work!
Last tax season there were plenty of last minute calls to Ryan saying, "eek, I didn't have time to make dinner, can you pick up hummus sandwiches and tomato-basil soup from Cosi?" That was a regular occurrence until I found a stick/woody stem/piece of wood in my soup. It kind of ruined my Cosi soup experience so I decided to take matters into my own hands and create my own Tomato Basil Soup recipe.
Thanks to Joanna, I had a great outline for my own Tomato Basil Soup and can make it anytime I want because I usually have most of the ingredients on hand.
Tomato Basil Soup
1 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
1 (28 oz.) can of diced or crushed tomatoes, drained
2 cups half & half, cream, 2% milk or soy creamer, heated
¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp white pepper
Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Sauté garlic until fragrant, stirring often. Add tomato paste; stir and cook for 30 seconds. Add drained tomatoes, cover and simmer gently for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Puree with a stick blender in the saucepan or transfer to a blender to puree. Return to saucepan and stir in heated creamer, fresh basil, sugar, garlic powder, white pepper and salt to taste.
Serve with grilled cheese or toasted bread if desired.
I can't even tell you how many times I've made this at home. It's so easy and I highly recommend it if you're short on time for dinner. It makes for great leftovers too as the basil flavor infuses while it sits in the fridge. Yum!