Quick Tomato Soup

I have discovered over the years that no matter how late I get home, or how hectic my day is, that I can always whip up a quick soup faster than it takes to order a pizza or get take-away. Yesterday was one of those "soupy" days. I was BUSY...seriously busy all day, and it was just a regular day.

Most days for me start around 5:30am when the hubby gets up. I let the new puppy out, feed her, get the coffee made, kiss the hubby goodbye, and have my breakfast smoothie. All this happens before 6:15am and that is just the start of my day. Then Chloe wakes up, I feed her, get her dressed, spend 40 minutes on my elliptical strider, have a very (usually way too) quick shower, blow dry the hair, get dressed and we are out the door for preschool. Then I walk the dog around the park, return Jessie (the dog) to the house and start MY day.

Yesterday I was at my Book Club meeting at 10:00am, and then off to pick Chloe up at noon. I went with a good friend to Lancaster to get some shopping done. (When you live in Tehachapi, most of the shopping is a one hour drive down the mountain, and then another one hour drive back.) We didn't get back to Bear Valley until after 6:30pm. Steve is already home, and thank Heaven he let the poor dog out. I had nothing-and I mean NOTHING planned for dinner.

I thought about it for a moment or two and came up with a quick soup using the stuff in my pantry. It only took me about ten minutes to prepare and ten more minutes to simmer together. "Houston...we have dinner!" Here is the recipe:

Quick Creamy Tomato Soup

2 Tbs. butter

2 Tbs. flour

1 cup diced onions

1 garlic clove-crushed

1 celery stalk-diced

1 Qt. container chicken stock

2 15 oz. cans of tomato puree

¼ cup fresh chopped basil (or 1 Tbs. dried if you don’t have fresh)

½ cup heavy cream-if you have it, if you don’t just leave it out

In a large stock pot melt the butter. Add the onions, celery, and garlic. Saute for several minutes, until the onions are just starting to brown. Toss the flour into the veggies and stir around until all the butter is absorbed. Remove the veggies from the heat and place into a blender, add one cup of the chicken stock and puree the mixture until smooth and very creamy. Return the veggie mixture to the pot and turn the heat to medium high. Add the rest of the stock, the tomato puree, and basil. Bring to a simmer and cook 10 minutes. Adjust the flavor with salt and black pepper. Remove from the heat and whisk in the cream if you have it. Serve hot with bread or croutons.

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