I'm not a huge fan of tomato soup, especially the plain Campbell's type tomato soup. One of my favorite types of soup, however, is the creamy tomato basil soup at the French Bakery and Restaurant La Madeline. Back in September, I tried a recipe for tomato basil soup that was supposed to be a copycat of their soup. It was good, but this recipe from Cooking Light is really good. My husband said it is just as good as La Madeline's :)
I adapted the recipe a bit, using canned tomatoes to save time, a little sugar to cut back on the acidity of the tomatoes, and extra cream cheese to make the soup creamier. I think the secret to this soup is the cream cheese! I will definitely be making this again :)
1 tbsp sugar
Place tomato mixture and basil in a blender or food processor; process until smooth (I used an immersion blender - great time saver). Return pureed mixture to pan; stir in milk, salt, and pepper (I also added sugar). Add cream cheese, stirring well with a whisk, and cook over medium heat until thick (about 5 minutes). Ladle soup into individual bowls; garnish with sliced basil, if desired. Serve with bread.
NOTE: Refrigerate remaining soup in an airtight container for up to 1 week.