Quick Creamy Tomato Soup
2 (15-ounce) containers, chicken or vegetable stock/broth (preferred brand: Kitchen Basics)
1 (28-ounce) can concentrated crushed tomatoes
1 cup heavy cream
Coarse salt and black pepper
20 leaves fresh basil, cut into chiffonade, for garnish
Soup toppers, for garnish, recipe follows
Combine broth and tomatoes in a medium saucepan over moderate heat. When soup bubbles, stir in heavy cream and reduce heat to low. Season with a little salt and pepper and simmer gently 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. With an immersion blender, puree soup. Serve bowls of soup with basil chiffonade and floating soup toppers.
4 slices crusty bread, 4 inches across, 1/4-inch thick-slice artisan breads at counter in market
2 cloves cracked fresh garlic, optional
Extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pound shredded cheese to compliment your soup: provolone, Asiago, cheddar, Gruyere, Swiss, etc.
Toast bread slices in your toaster until golden. Rub the toasted bread rounds with crushed garlic, if using. Arrange bread on cookie or baking sheet. Drizzle each slice with extra-virgin oil and top with a grind of black pepper and a layer of shredded cheese. Place under hot broiler to melt cheese until toppers are golden brown in color.
Yield: 4 servings Preparation time: 5 minutes Cooking time: 1 minute