Now, see here. I’m a fan of thick soups.
The ones with the heavy cream and butter and potatoes, the ones that make your heart stop? Give it allllllll to me, my friends. I’ll take care of it for ya real quick. Oh and when it’s in a bread bowl? Ugh. I die. Who doesn’t like to glug down soups with as much bread as possible?!
However, these soups simply cannot be consumed on a daily basis for obvious reasons (e.g., wanting to live past 45, etc.)
I feel like tomato soup can be a hard one to lighten-up because it can be kind of acidic and unpleasant without some balance from cream, you know? So in my version of tomato soup, the small adjustments I made to make it just a liiiittle bit easier on the waistline aaarreee, da da da da!!!! (did you hear the trumpet sound I was going for?) –> half and half. Not as indulgent as cream, but richer than milk. Excellent. We like. Also! Neufchatel. Just a wee bit to assist in the creamage.
Buuuuut then we add a crap ton of parmesan, perhaps to make up for all the fat and calories we just saved. Whoops? I make no apologies.
1 yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 T olive oil
2 c chicken broth
1 28 oz. can San Marzano peeled tomatoes
2 T tomato paste
1/2 t salt
some good cranks of black pepper
1 t sugar
1 t dried basil
1 c half and half
4 oz neufchatel cream cheese, softened
3/4 c fresh parmesan, shredded (+ MORE!)
In a large pot on medium high heat, combine the onions, garlic, and olive oil. Saute for about 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions are soft and translucent.
Add in the chicken broth, tomatoes, tomato paste, salt, black pepper, and sugar. Bring to a boil and turn the heat down to medium. Let simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Carefully spoon soup into a blender (if you have a smaller blender, you might have to do this in a couple batches) and blend on the lowest power/speed until smooth.
Transfer the blended soup back to the pot and add in the basil, half and half, neufchatel, and parmesan. Whisk until the neufchatel and cheese have thoroughly melted into the soup and it’s all hot and nice.
And then pour it into bowls and eat it and top it with lots of cheese and a side of french bread. Or grilled cheese! Yes. Grilled cheese.