One of my favorite meals is tomato soup with grilled cheese. Nothing takes me back to elementary school like the creaminess of the soup contrasted with the sharp melty cheese and toasty bread.... It makes my insides smile.
The best I've ever had is the one at Doughboys' Bakery in Los Angeles. I decided I wanted to try to achieve the happy sensation that they sell me in my very own kitchen. Although I wasn't going to get that fatty or fancy (I think they use cabbage and cream to sweeten it up), I figured tomato soup would be an easy, cheap dish to make for myself that would remind me of home. So I tested out a new recipe using only 6 ingredients that are staples in my kitchen: tomatoes, chicken broth, basil, onion, red pepper flakes and parmesan cheese. The results were great for a soup with no cream, and even better the next day for a warm lunch, which is a major bonus in my book.
DELICIOUS (BUT HEALTHY) TOMATO BASIL SOUP
1 can of diced tomatoes ($0.79)
1/2 of a yellow onion ($0.40)
Handful of basil, about 8 leaves ($1)
2 teaspoons of chicken or vegetable buillon ($3.49 for a huge container)
1 cup-ish of parmesan cheese ($1.99)
About 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
About 2 tablespoons of olive oil
The Grand Total: $7.47 for about 3 servings, or about $2.55 per serving
Chop up the onion. Place the olive oil in a medium to large pot over medium heat. Sautee the onions for 5-10 minutes, until they become translucent but not brown. Now, add the canned tomatoes and cook for about 10-15 minutes. Tear up the basil and stir it in. Add the chicken stock (which you make by adding the 2 cups of hot water with 2 teaspoons of chicken buillon).
Cook for 10-20 minutes, then puree in a blender.
Pour the blended soup back in the pot, adding the parmesan cheese, stirring, and cooking for 10 more minutes or so. Top with parmesan cheese and serve with toast.