A Squared: What's for Dinner Wednesday: Tomato-Basil Soup with Garlic Cheese Toasts

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

What's for Dinner Wednesday: Tomato-Basil Soup with Garlic Cheese Toasts

Today has been a busy day for the McColvin family.  First off, it's our 4-month anniversary-- Happy anniversary, Mr. Colvin!  In addition to the usual workday, we are also both recovering from a stomach bug (ew) and Alex had some dental work done this morning so I think we were both feeling ready for a relaxed Wednesday evening.  Soup seemed like the perfect meal for our joint recovery and, as I often do, I turned to my friends at Cooking Light for a quick and easy recipe that I could make when I got home from work.

I made a few adjustments based on the ingredients I had on hand, but stayed pretty true to this recipe and I think it yielded some good results.  It reminded me of this amazing tomato soup that we used get at The Beach Bar in Clark Lake, Michigan in the summer.  I came across the recipe for that soup (really more of a bisque) at one point and the nutrition facts are scary, to put it mildly.  This recipe really mimics the qualities and flavors that make that soup so delicious, but it's a much lighter version.  Alex isn't normally a soup lover, but his dining options were fairly limited this evening and he seemed to really enjoy it.  We hope you do too!

Tomato-Basil Soup with Garlic Cheese Toasts

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion 
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 (28-ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, cut into cubes
  • 2 cups 1% low-fat milk *I didn't have 1% at home so I used a combo of skim and 2%
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 8 (1/2-inch-thick) slices honey wheat bread (any crusty rustic bread will work)
  • Cooking spray *I prefer olive oil spray if you have that option
  • 1 garlic clove, halved 
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 cup shredded reduced fat Italian cheese blend (any shredded Italian cheese will work)
  • Grated Parmesan (for garnish)
  • Thinly sliced basil leaves (for garnish)
1. Preheat broiler to high.
2. Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté 3 minutes. Stir in garlic; cook for 1 minute. Add basil and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Stir in cheese until melted. Place mixture in blender, and blend until smooth. Return to pan; stir in milk, salt, and pepper. Return to medium-high; cook 2 minutes.
3. Place bread on baking sheet; lightly coat with spray. Broil 1 minute. Rub garlic over toasted side; turn bread over. Sprinkle Italian seasoning evenly over each slice and top with shredded cheese; broil 2 minutes or until cheese is melted and slightly browned.
4. Ladle soup into bowls (this recipe serves 4) and garnish with grated cheese and basil if desired.

derived from a recipe courtesy of Cooking Light magazine, March 2012.

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