Creamy Tomato Basil Soup with Orecchiette & Roasted Garlic Spread

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After an intense game of Pictionary on Sunday night — which was accompanied by four bottles of wine — I needed to cuddle up to something warm and comforting last night for dinner after my long day at work post-Pictionary. How would you draw “clear cut”?! I was pretty impressed with Matt’s drawing of mascara, although it could have easily been a spider. He read his card and said, “I’m not sure where this goes.”

There was also an argument involving the it’s-not-a-word word “dethaw.” And we weren’t even playing scrabble. Which I love, by the way. I need to get that words with friends thing. Will you guys play with me? I cracked my iPhone during an artistic rendering of Barney the dinosaur so it’ll have to wait, though.

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Back to soup. Tomatoes and basil practically run through my blood. That is comfort food. This soup is easy to whip up and it’s healthy, too. Instead of using cream I fold in greek yogurt once it’s off the burner. Top with fresh basil and grated or shaved pecorino or parm cheese and you’ve got love in a bowl. Or in an oversized mug, in this case.

Orecchiette gives this classic soup a little more depth and texture. I want to try and make the pasta homemade sometime soon. It’s actually pretty easy! Just have to put the time in.

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Let’s talk about roasted garlic. So easy and delicious, this should really just be a staple in the fridge.  Get a head of garlic or as much as you want – I’ve made a single serving before with just a few cloves. Although I always wish I did use the whole head.

Cut off the tops of the head, leaving the skin on, drizzle with olive oil and wrap in foil. Bake at 400° and pop those babies right out of the skin. See how easily they spread on my once-boring Ezekiel toast? I love them in salads, in a dressing, on toast, by themselves…

You could put it in a jar and fold in some herbs and you’ve got the best foodie present ever. Top with fried egg, roasted veggies, I mean really it’s so versatile and delicious and good for you.

imageI ate this in bed and it was the best decision ever. I put on Netflix’s Black Mirror (has anyone seen this?!) and cuddled up. I even had enough leftovers for lunch. Yes, that’s right! I just remembered that! Ugh yes I can’t wait. Any little bit of happiness helps when you are at work and it’s only Tuesday.

I’m trying to work on being more grateful recently, so I’ll have to add this soup to my mental list. It’s hard not to get wrapped up in all of the things that we feel aren’t easy. Keeping tabs on the good can help.

Has anyone seen documentary On My Way To School on Netflix? This would be a great film to watch if you’re feeling like it’s been uphill for you lately. Let me know what you think.

Do yourself a favor and make a delicious meal for yourself. You deserve it.

Creamy Tomato Basil Soup with Orecchiette 

  • a little less than 1 can San Marzano tomatoes, whole or crushed — I use unsalted
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, can also use your roasted garlic cloves (see recipe below)
  • 1/2 pint halved cherry tomatoes
  • heaping bunch of fresh basil
  • 2 tbsp or more of greek yogurt — I use TOTAL Fage 0%
  • crushed red pepper and black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup orecchiette or any pasta you have on hand — ditalini would be good here too.
  • 1-2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • grated or shaved pecorino romano or parmigiana reggiano cheese to taste
  • extra virgin olive oil

Heat a large saucepan to medium heat and drizzle or spray with olive oil. Once hot, add chopped onions and caramelize until onions are sweet and browned. Add or spray more oil and add garlic. Add crushed red pepper to taste. Toss to coat. Add can of tomatoes. Add about a cup of water, depending on how thick you like your soup. The yogurt and pasta will add a little bit of thickness, too. Bring to a soft boil. Cook for a few minutes, smashing tomatoes down and stirring. Add pasta and cook until pasta is al dente, about 10-20 minutes depending on your pasta and how high the boil is. I kept mine at a slower boil, just over medium heat on the burner. Add balsamic. Once pasta is cooked and soup has cooked down and it smells heavenly, take your soup off the burner to cool and turn heat off. Once soup has cooled but is still hot, add your greek yogurt. It’s very important that the soup isn’t hot enough to cook the yogurt, you don’t want it to curdle. Steam is okay, but bubbles are not. Fold in your basil and toss. Serve with grated cheese and some fresh cracked pepper. I like to drizzle a little olive oil on top, too.

Roasted Garlic

  • extra virgin olive oil
  • tin foil
  • whole head garlic

Cut 1/4 inch off the top of the head of garlic. Drizzle or spray with extra virgin olive oil. Peel outer skins but do not peel the garlic. Wrap completely in foil. Bake in oven (I use a toaster oven) at 400° for 40 minutes. You can play around with the timing for deeper roasts, but be sure to check it at 30-40 minutes. You should be able to pop the garlic right out of the skin with ease. Spread on bread and serve. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.

5 thoughts on “Creamy Tomato Basil Soup with Orecchiette & Roasted Garlic Spread

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