Nana often pairs her soups with sandwiches.  For this soup, she likes a grilled cheese sandwich made with pumpernickel and provolone cheese.  It is also delicious with a grilled cheese made using jalapeno pimento cheese and Aunt Alisa’s Jalapeno Cheddar Bread.


  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
  • 3 – 14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 – 14.5-ounce can chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoon corn starch mixed with ¼ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil


  • Melt butter and olive oil in a 4-quart pot over medium heat; add onions and jalapeno. Sauté until onions are translucent. Add garlic and sauté one minute longer. Add tomatoes, chicken broth, and spices (garlic powder, cumin, and pepper).
  • Using an emersion blender, puree mixture in pot. Bring to a boil. Add baking soda. Mixture will bubble as the soda reacts with the acid in the tomatoes. This process neutralizes the acid and will keep the cream from curdling when added.
  • After bubbles begin to subside, add cream. Bring to a boil. Add corn starch mixture to soup. Simmer until soup thickens slightly. Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Before serving stir in basil. 1 tablespoon dried basil can be substituted for fresh basil.