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I absolutely love warm, comforting soups like tomato basil soup.
With just a little kick of spice in the soup, it does wonders for warming me up this time of year, especially. And lately, I’ve been topping my tomato basil soup with quick cornbread croutons that just add the perfect amount of crunch and texture to my bowl! I can’t get enough of them!
For tomato basil soup, I altered a tomato basil soup recipe that I’ve shared previously to amp up the flavor and make it a delicious, dairy-free option that my brother-in-law could also enjoy since they were visiting with us. If you aren’t concerned with dairy as he is, you can easily use the original tomato basil soup recipe I’ve shared. Both work perfectly!
Additionally, if you prefer your tomato soup to be a bit smoother, just blend it longer to make it as smooth as you prefer. I like a little bit of a texture to my soup and therefore stop it from becoming smooth when I make it.
Okay, you get the picture right? Take this soup recipe and make it your own. That’s one of the best things about recipes, isn’t it?
Now, for those quick cornbread croutons.
Heavens! Those things are like jewels on this soup! I used Martha White Mexican Cornbread mix and poured into a rimmed, half sheet pan and baked it for 15 minutes while the soup was cooking. Then, I removed it from the oven and cut it into bite sized pieces and tossed them back into the oven with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper to crisp up for a few minutes. If you had day old cornbread, this would be an even quicker way to make your cornbread croutons. You’d just cut the cornbread into bite sized pieces and toss onto a rimmed sheet pan with olive oil, salt and pepper for a few minutes to make them nice and crunchy. That’s it. So easy and yet they add so much to a bowl of soup or a salad.
Here’s my dairy-free Tomato Basil Soup with Cornbread Croutons. You need a big bowl of this to warm you up. Don’t ya think?
Tomato Basil Soup with Cornbread Croutons Recipe
For the Tomato Basil Soup
- 6 cups peeled chopped tomatoes
- 4 cups chicken stock or broth
- 2 cups basil leaves
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- pinch salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- pinch cayenne pepper
For the Cornbread Croutons
- olive oil
- For the Tomato Basil Soup
- Place tomatoes and chicken stock in stockpot. Toss in basil leaves and simmer over medium heat for approximately 10 minutes. Use a hand-held blender in your stockpot and blend for a few minutes, leaving chunks in the soup.
- Add in olive oil, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper and allow to simmer on low for 10 minutes.
- Remove from heat and serve with cornbread croutons.
- For the Cornbread Croutons
- Preheat oven to 425º F. Cut cornbread into bite-sized pieces and place onto a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss lightly and bake for about 8-10 minutes until crisp and lightly toasted. Remove from oven. Store leftover croutons in an airtight container for up to one week.
Did you know that this year’s National Cornbread Festival is fast approaching? This year marks the 18th year of the National Cornbread Festival, held this year on April 26th in South Pittsburg, Tennessee. If you have never been to the festival, I urge you to make every possible effort to attend if you can. When you think of the perfect festival atmosphere, the National Cornbread Festival and the amazing people of South Pittsburg take it up about 10 notches from there! It is truly one of my favorite events!
And if you’d like to try your hand at entering the National Cornbread Cook-Off, time is ticking! Be sure to check the Cornbread Festival website for specifics on dates and rules for entry.
To help kick-off the cornbread festivities, I know you’ll love these other cornbread-filled recipes, too!
Melissa’s Southern Style Kitchen: Cornbread and Sausage Quiche
Mommy’s Kitchen: Chili Cornbread Skillet
Lorie’s Mississippi Kitchen: Bacon Cheeseburger Stuffed Cornbread
Southern Bite: Mexican Cornbread
Southern Plate: Red Beans and Cornbread
Sugar and Spice by Celeste: Buffalo Chicken Cornbread with Blue Cheese Salad
Syrup and Biscuits: Peachy BBQ Chicken Skillet
The Country Cook: White Chicken Chili with Cornbread Dumplings
The Southern Pantry: Monte Cristo Cornbread Skillet
+ even more cornbread recipes.
Disclosure: I am a long time fan of Martha White and participated as a judge in the 2013 National Cornbread Cook-Off.