Take care of yourself with this tomato soup

Hearty homemade tomato soup garnished with a dollup of sour cream.

Hearty homemade tomato soup garnished with a dollup of sour cream.

By Bill Milligan, For the Call

I created this soup to use up some leftover fresh produce items I would otherwise have thrown away.

It was a hit, but it is much better with ingredients purchased that day. The main caution here is to use a hearty rye bread, something from a bakery department that you slice yourself.

If you want to try some self-care, try making this soup.

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon butter

1 large onion, diced

2 carrots, diced

3 stalks celery, chopped

6 cloves garlic, chopped

1 tablespoon tomato paste

Salt to taste

1⁄2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

6 large, peeled, seeded tomatoes

or a 28-ounce can of diced tomatoes

6 cups chicken stock

1 cup torn basil leaves

3 cups diced rye bread

Sour cream

Heat stock pot over medium-high heat. When pan is warm as you hold your palm a few inches above the interior surface, add olive oil to prevent butter from burning, then add butter for taste.

Add chopped onion. If the onion sizzles when placed in the pan, continue by adding carrots, celery and garlic. Otherwise, continue to heat pan until onions begin to sizzle in the butter and oil.

After sautéing vegetables, add tomato paste. Once paste begins to brown, add tomatoes and chicken stock.

Cover, reduce heat to medium, simmer for at least 20 minutes. Once time has elapsed, season with salt and red pepper flakes. Stir in basil and rye bread pieces until bread becomes soggy. Ladle soup into bowls. Add a dollup of sour cream. Flick the blade of a sharp knife through the sour cream to create decorative white patterns in bowl. Serve immediately.