Feed Your Soul…and Your Belly (Easy Tomato Basil Soup with Pesto)

Hot bowl of Tomato Basil Soup with Pesto

One of the most important and effective forms of self-care is the one that I often skip when I feel busy, overwhelmed, or tired: cooking a homemade meal.

I confess, sometimes the most challenging part of cooking is grocery shopping, it’s not my favorite activity and I’m making peace with it. It’s nothing new to plan ahead and prepare your shopping list and yet it’s a mindfulness habit I am cultivating. Even with cooking, setting an intention can ease my suffering and bring ease to shopping. For those of you who LOVE to shop, you may not relate to my struggle, but, for those of you who dread getting groceries, I know you can feel my pain! LOL

So…a few weeks ago, my daughter and I had a lunch date at Urban Plates and we fell in love with their Roasted Tomato Basil Soup with Pesto. She requested we get it more often so I set an intention to make it at home. I found this recipe for a Urban Plates mock tomato basil soup:

https://pjputerbaugh.blogspot.com/2016/12/mock-urban-plates-roasted-tomato-soup.html

Since we were stopping at Trader Joe’s I bought the ingredients using all TJ products then I modified the recipe accordingly, and it turned out delicious! Yum!

Mission accomplished! I had a list, one-stop shopping was easeful, cooking the soup was so fast and simple it barely felt like I was cooking. And, yet, the house was filling up with the aromatic smells of the onion and garlic then the sweet tang of the simmering tomato soup. This semi-homemade recipe was such a great recipe for my daughter to learn. The soup was delicious and was enjoyed for a few days including for my hubby and daughter’s lunches easily stored in a thermos.

This recipe can easily be adapted to be gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, or made with a meat broth.

TOMATO BASIL SOUP WITH PESTO

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 jars TJ’s Giotto’s Organic Marinara Sauce 
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 tbsp garlic minced
  • 1 can TJ’s light coconut milk  
  • 4 cups TJs organic veggie or chicken broth
  • 1 small can TJs organic tomato paste
  • 1 tsp salt or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • for garnish:  swirl of TJs pesto sauce if desired

Prep: 15 minutes

Cook: 15ish minutes

Serves: 8

1. Saute the onion till soft in a large pot with garlic and olive oil.  Add marinara sauce,  coconut milk, tomato paste, and broth and stir well.

3. Stir in salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil and then simmer for about 5-10 minutes. (original recipe suggests 5-10 minutes but, I simmered it for about 15 minutes until it thickened a bit.)

4. Blend in a processor (optional) 

Serving suggestions:

  • Swirl of pesto is optional but, I recommend it.
  • Croutons on top upon serving.
  • A grilled cheese sandwich would make this a classic comfort food meal.

Notes:

  • I modified the recipe to use the full tetra pack of broth which is 4 cups, the original recipe calls for 3 cups.
  • Since they discontinued the 28 oz. Tuscano Marinara sauce in the can, I substituted with the Organic Marinara Sauce in the glass jar which is 25 oz.  
  • Because I find myself throwing out the remaining tomato paste in those small cans, instead of using 2 tablespoons I tried using the whole can and it gave it a nice rich tomatoey flavor.  
  • The original recipe calls for light coconut milk in another brand but, I was in a one-stop shopping mode so it was TJ’s all the way!  Next time I’d probably opt for full fat coconut milk. It was yummy with light too,
  • Both of TJs pestos are yummy.  Try the vegetarian TJ’s Genovese pesto or TJ’s Vegan Kale, Cashew, and Basil Pesto. 
  • Because I made this gluten-free I skipped the croutons but, served with TJ’s Organic Naan Crackers which my fam loved.  TJs has Cheese and Garlic croutons which would give a nice texture to this soup.
  • I used a hand-blender but, in my opinion, it didn’t really need it. If you skip the last “blend in a processor step” I suggest smashing and mincing the garlic and make sure the onions and garlic are softened and cooked well.

Why don’t you practice some mindful coziness today! A steamy bowl of soup, hot cuppa tea, wrap up in a plush blanket in your flannel PJs and a gripping novel.

What else can you do to create some mindful coziness?

Enjoy!  Happy Cooking! Share any of your variations. Leave comments below.

Cheers to Mindful Coziness!!

Amelia Andaleon

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