Getting together with friends and family is my favorite holiday tradition. It just seems a little more special at this time of year.
Unless it’s one of the big days – you know, Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Years – I like to keep the food casual and easy. Guests are more relaxed when the don’t need to figure out what fork to use, and it’s easier on the cook, too! Soup is my go to meals for these occasions.
Kettle Brand contacted me recently and asked if they could send me some flavors to sample. I’m a major chip lover and Kettle Brand is a fave, so it didn’t take me long to say “Yes, please!” They also challenged me to a twist to a holiday recipe using their chips or popcorn.
I immediately thought of one of my favorite soup recipes, Creamy Tomato Basil Soup. Instead of the croutons I usually top the soup with, I used Kettle Brand Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper Popcorn.
OK, so Creamy Tomato Basil Soup is not a holiday recipe, but it is the perfect thing to serve at this busy time of year. First of all, it’s quick and easy. You will have dinner on the table in less than twenty minutes. Second, the red tomatoes and green basil are very festive, no?
It’s also super delicious and only requires a few ingredients, most of which are probably already in your pantry. The popcorn makes a unique topper and tastes so good. It absolutely melts in your mouth … yum!
Serve this Creamy Tomato Basil Soup with Popcorn Croutons at your next holiday get together or anytime you need an easy meal this winter!
- 2 tsp. olive oil
- 3 large garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 (28-oz.) can crushed tomatoes
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup basil (lightly packed)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup Kettle Brand Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper Popcorn
- Combine olive oil, garlic cloves, salt, and crushed red pepper flakes in a medium saucepan.
- Heat over medium heat until garlic is fragrant.
- Stir tomatoes and vegetable broth into garlic.
- Bring soup to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook 10 minutes.
- While soup is simmering, thinly slice 2 large basil leaves. Set aside for garnish.
- Chop remaining basil.
- After 10 minutes, turn off heat and stir chopped basil and cream into soup.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Serve soup topped with popcorn and sliced basil. Enjoy!
Make sure to add the popcorn right before serving, or at the table, so it doesn't get soggy.
- Coat a cheese ball with New York Cheddar Chips instead of (or in addition to) nuts.
- Did you know that Kettle’s Maple Bacon Chips are actually vegetarian? I’d dip them melted chocolate, let the chocolate cool and harden, and then serve them as a sweet and salty snack.
- Add crushed Sea Salt Chips to your favorite cookie recipe.
- Jalapeno and chocolate are a really delicious pairing. Try adding crushed Jalapeño Chips to a graham cracker crust and then filling it with chocolate ganache.
- Drizzle Salt & Fresh Ground Pepper Popcorn with chocolate and caramel for a quick treat.
What is your favorite casual holiday entertaining meal?
I’m linking up with these link parties, as well as Creative Inspirations, Say G’Day, Saturday Sparks, Found & Foraged, Much Ado About Monday, Inspire Me Tuesday, Tweak It Tuesday, and I Heart Naptime.
Disclosure: Kettle Brand sent me a box of chips and popcorn to experiment with, but I did not receive any compensation for this post. All opinions are my own, of course.