Whew! These back to school days are hard on this old gal. The clock seems to enjoy turning 5, just to see the look on my face as I realize this one, annoying truth: I have no plans for dinner. Blah.Well, the night we had this soup was in fact one of those frequent moments in my week where I had NOTHING in mind for dinner.
Now, what that looks like in this house is this: every single protein is frozen solid to 10° above zero. It is more likely to be used as a weapon than a meal solution. Unfortunately, leftovers are looking a little fuzzy and to top it all off, momma is tired ((and probably stinky)).
It is a pitiful sight … one you would think I would try to avoid, but I hate to deprive the clock of the entertainment of watching me suffer. So changes to this crazy routine likely aren’t coming any time soon.
David’s response to this? “Let’s just eat out.” Well, the world doesn’t need to see a tired and stinky momma, so that is out.
Out of necessity, I came up with this simple, TASTY soup. After tasting it, I was surprised I had never made it before – being that it was ready in a flash, didn’t need any protein & (have I mentioned) it was yummy!
I started with the triple combo of finely diced carrots, onions & celery and sautéed them in a little olive oil for 5 minutes.
Once the veggies were slightly tender (I wanted to keep most of the crunch but also extract some of the flavor), I added 6 oz of Cabernet Sauvignon and allowed the alcohol to evaporate. After the alcohol was cooked out, I added the chicken broth, crushed tomatoes & tomato sauce.
Letting these ingredients boil for a few minutes helps reduce the “canned/acidic” flavors that are pretty obvious at this point.
Last, I added one can of evaporated milk, 4 oz. of heavy cream, 4 oz. of light cream cheese, a chiffonade of homegrown sweet basil and seasoned to taste.
I stirred and covered for 10 minutes ((and turned off the flame)), stirred once more and then served. It delicious – and really saved the day. I could tell that the clock was disappointed — it had only moved 20 minutes since I first had the “what’s for dinner?” panic!
- 2 T olive oil
- 1/3 c diced carrots
- 1/3 c diced celery
- 1/3 c diced white onion
- 6 oz Cabernet Sauvignon
- 32 oz low sodium chicken broth
- 33.5 oz tomato sauce
- 28 oz can crushed tomatoes (I like the Cento brand)
- 12 oz can 2% evaporated milk
- 4 oz light cream cheese, room temperature
- 4 oz heavy cream
- 20-30 leaves of fresh sweet basil, cut chiffonade style
- sea salt & fresh cracked pepper to taste
- Preheat olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium-high heat. Place carrots, celery and white onion in the hot oil and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally (make sure the veggies don't brown).
- Add wine, stir for one minute - this will give the alcohol time to evaporate. Add chicken broth, tomato sauce & crushed tomatoes. Bring to a low boil, stirring frequently for 5 minutes. Pour in evaporated milk and continue at a low boil for 1-2 minutes. Turn off the flame, but leave the pot on the burner and add cream cheese and cream. Add basil, gently stir and cover for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, stir to dissolve the cream cheese, season to taste and serve.
- Serves 8