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Tomato-Basil Soup with Cheesy Quesadillas

Active Time: 30 minutes / Cook Time: 1 hour 40 minutes / Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes

Makes 6 servings

Nutrition Corner: Ghee
Ghee is an ancient nutritionally rich health food, with deep roots in Indian cuisine and Ayurvedic medicine. Ghee is clarified butter. It is made by simmering butter until its water content is removed, and the milk fats have separated. While grass-fed butter has amazing health benefits in itself, ghee has the additional benefits of a higher smoke point, making it suitable for high heat cooking, as well as being tolerated by many people with lactose and casein sensitivities.

Tomato Basil Soup w Cheesy Quesadillas.JPG

Ingredients:

  • For the soup:
    • ½ tablespoon coconut oil, melted
    • 4 28-oz. cans whole tomatoes, drained and juices reserved
    • 2 teaspoons fine sea salt, divided
    • 1 ½ teaspoons ground black pepper, divided
    • 1 tablespoon ghee
    • 2 cups chopped onion
    • 6 cloves garlic, minced
    • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
    • 4 cups fresh basil leaves, lightly packed, divided
    • 4 cups chicken broth or water, divided
    • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • For the quesadillas:
    • 3 teaspoons ghee
    • 12 corn tortillas
    • 1 ½ cups Italian blend cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Coat a 9 x 13” baking dish with the coconut oil and add the tomatoes, 1 teaspoon of salt, and ¾ teaspoon pepper. Roast 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.
  2. In a large stockpot or Dutch oven, melt ghee over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, ½ teaspoon salt, ¾ teaspoon pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until the onions start to brown.
  3. Add the reserved tomato juice and the oven-roasted tomatoes, including the juices from the baking dish. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook until the tomato juices are slightly reduced, 5-10 minutes. Stir occasionally to make sure the solids are not sticking to the bottom of the pot.
  4. Add 3 cups of the basil leaves and 3 cups of the broth. Return the soup to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook uncovered for 30 minutes.
  5. While the soup is simmering, make the quesadillas: sprinkle 6 tortillas with 2 tablespoons of cheese each and top with remaining 6 tortillas.
  6. Heat 1 teaspoon ghee in a large skillet over medium heat. When the pan is hot, add two quesadillas, if they don't fit well just cook one at a time. Cook 1-2 minutes per side, or until the tortilla is golden brown in spots and the cheese is melted. Repeat with remaining ghee and quesadillas.
  7. In batches, transfer the soup to a blender and blend until smooth, or use an immersion blender. (Be careful; it’s hot!) Return the soup to the pot and bring to a simmer. Taste for seasoning and add the remaining ½ teaspoon salt, if desired.
  8. If a thinner soup is desired, stir in the remaining broth and cook 5 minutes.
  9. Remove the soup from the heat. Finely chop the remaining cup of basil and stir it into the soup.
  10. Serve about 2 cups of soup per person for dinner, each serving drizzled with ½ tablespoon olive oil, along with a quesadilla per person.
  11. Package remaining soup and quesadillas for lunches on days 1 and 3 of Week 4. The soup can also be frozen in airtight containers.