Want to see what other Soup recipes were made during the swap? Here is the link to the Soup Recipe Swap Roundup
I don't know about your neck of the woods, but in the Northeast we've been having an incredibly mild winter. This makes me very, very happy. I hate the cold. I don't like snow and I don't like the darkness that descends once we change the clocks. Now that we're closing in on the end of February it's staying light later, which is awesome. But the best part about this winter has been the distinct lack of snow. We had one big storm Halloween weekend but after that we've had a few flurries that barely stuck to the grass let alone the roads and was usually gone the next day. Temps have been at least 10-20 degrees above normal as well.
When I chose soup as the theme for this recipe swap I figured we would all be stuck with cold weather by the time it rolled around, but the night I made my Cream of Tomato Soup with Pesto it was 50 degrees and when I had it for lunch the following day it was in the low 60s. Thankfully the flavors were the essence of summer (basil and tomato), so it worked for me.
This soup was much better the next day, especially eaten almost lukewarm instead of piping hot. The flavors came together beautifully and it really tasted like summer in a bowl. It couldn't have been easier to make, although I did have to modify the recipe slightly because I couldn't find diced tomatoes with garlic and onion in my supermarket. I figured subbing fresh garlic and onion wouldn't be a bad thing anyway and I recommend going that route.
Stay tuned for more recipes from the soup swap in my Recipe Swap Roundup!
UPDATE: I made a quadruple batch of this soup for a church meeting and it was a big hit. Since you're basically adding everything to a stock pot and boiling it, this is a very versatile and easy soup to make in big batches. I reheated it in my crockpot (about 3/4 fit in the crockpot and the rest went into a storage container).
Cream of Tomato Soup with Pesto
Modified Slightly from Cooking for Fun
I tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
1 (32 fluid ounce) container chicken broth
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes with basil and oregano
1 cup half-and-half cream
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons basil pesto
Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until the onion softens, about 8 minutes. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Boil until reduced by about 1/3. Pour in both cans of the tomatoes, and return to a simmer. Add the half-and-half, and turn heat to low. Simmer for 15 minutes. Puree in batches in a blender, or use an immersion blender. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into bowls, and swirl in a spoonful of pesto before serving.