If you have ever had the pleasure of eating at a La Madelaine’s Restaurant you have probably had a cup (or many) of their famous tomato basil soup. If you’ve never been to a La Madelaine’s and have never heard anything about the soup, it is absolutely out of this world and in my opinionLa Madelaine’s Tomato Basil is one of the best soups I have ever tasted… EVER!
What makes La Madelaine’s tomato-basil soup so incredible is the super rich creamy taste. The soup at the restaurant is so rich that I can only handle a small cup. Of course that amazing rich creamy taste is created by using tons of heavy cream and all that good stuff that’s not necessarily so good for my 2012 new diet. So in honor of 2012 resolutions to eat healthier, I thought I would share this recipe for the healthy lower fat version that was shared with me years ago by my friend Ginny. I have made Ginny’s recipe hundreds of times and I still cannot believe how easy and delicious it is knowing that it is made with buttermilk and tomato juice and not heavy cream and fresh tomatoes. It blows me away how close this recipe is to the original soup and I thought I would share it with you today.
Tomato-Basil Soup (La Madalaine’s) Healthy Version
Ingredients; (SERVES 4)
1 Tb. margarine
1/2 C. chopped onion
1/2 C. chopped green bell pepper
1/2 tsp. dried basil
2 C. tomato juice
1 C. buttermilk
1) In a medium saucepan, saute chopped onion bell peppers in margarine until tender. (Yes, I sneaked and used real butter in the picture above)! It’s real important that you are exact on your onion and pepper measurements. A little too much of one or the other can alter the end taste.
2) Stir in remaining ingredients and turn off heat.
3) Transfer to blender (in several batches) and puree until you get it as smooth as you can. I used my nifty new “Smart Stick” hand blender that I am now able to puree right in the soup pan! This thing is incredible and everyone should have one:
4) Return to saucepan and heat until warm. DO NOT LET BOIL.. Buttermilk cannot be boiled and will separate and curdle like if boiled. I have learned this the hard way a couple times by not watching my pot. You only need to warm it up.
I have served this soup with all kinds of different panini sandwiches or toasted french bread. This is also a great recipe to use for a luncheon or a brunch. This last Christmas, I made batches of this soup and poured in mason jars and gave as gifts with a note to refrigerate immediately and to not boil.
Well friends, I hope you have a wonderful rest of the week and I’ll be back soon with a fun project.