Applebee's International, Inc. is the leader in the casual dining segment of the United States restaurant marketplace. The company franchises and operates more than 1,100 restaurants under the Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar name, about a quarter of which it owns. The eateries offer moderately priced, high-quality food and drink for all ages in a friendly, informal atmosphere. Applebee's is continuing to expand, with 1,800 outlets the company's stated goal. A smaller restaurant format has been designed for areas with populations under 25,000, to facilitate penetration of previously untapped markets.

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Tomato Basil Soup




TOMATO BASIL SOUP
Applebee’s Copycat Recipe

Soup:
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup minced white onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 (28-oz.) cans crushed tomatoes
3 cups chicken broth
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup minced fresh basil
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Garnish:
seasoned croutons
shredded parmesan cheese

Heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, and then add onion and garlic. Saute for about 1 minute. Add crushed tomatoes and chicken broth, and bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and let mixture cool, uncovered, for 30 minutes.

Pour approximately half of the tomato mixture into a blender. Put the lid on the blender and hold it down with a dish towel. Mixture may still be hot and you don't want the lid of the blender to pop off. Blend on high speed for about a minute, pour the mixture into a large bowl or pitcher, then add the rest of the mixture to the blender and blend on high speed for a minute.

Pour all of the pureed tomato mixture back into the saucepan, and then add the remaining ingredients. Bring the soup back up to a bubble then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Serve approximately one cup of soup with a garnish of 3 or 4 croutons on top and a sprinkling of shredded parmesan cheese.


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