As I mentioned yesterday, we are having some cold, gloomy, and decidedly unJune-like weather lately. Also, we all have the sniffles. So today I thought a comforting soup was in order. According to the cookbook, this soup would probably be the best in late summer, when tomatoes are at their peak, but it called my name today just the same, and it turned out delicious. I also selected a crusty artisan bread from the bakery, and made some Parmesan toasts to go with it. It was the perfect meal for this dark and drizzly day.
I used the same cookbook from the Tomato Lentil Soup I blogged about a while back.
Tomato and Fresh Basil Soup
from:Vegetarian-the Best Ever Recipe Collection
by Linda Fraser
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 Tablespoons butter
1 Medium onion, finely chopped
2 Pounds ripe Italian plum tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 Garlic clove, roughly chopped (I doubled it to 2, but garlic lover that I am, I might even do 3 or 4 cloves next time.)
3 Cups vegetable stock (I used broth because the store was out of stock.)
1/2 Cup dry white wine (I had some left over white wine in the fridge. I cannot say for sure if it classifies as a “dry” wine, but I used it anyway.)
2 Tablespoons sun-dried tomato paste
2 Tablespoons fresh shredded basil
2/3 Cup heavy cream
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Whole basil leaves to garnish, if you’re feelin’ fancy
1-Heat the oil and butter in a large saucepan until foaming. Add the onion and cook gently for about 5 minutes. stirring, until the onion is softened but not brown.
2-Stir in the chopped tomatoes and garlic, then add the stock, white wine and sun-dried tomato paste, with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat, half-cover the pan and simmer gently for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep the tomatoes from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
3-Process soup with the shredded basil in a blender or food processor, then press through a sieve into a clean pan. (We did not do the sieve part, and I didn’t think it was necessary. There were barely any chunks in our finished soup, and the ones we had were teensy. I don’t mind texture in my soup. So if you, like me, want to create less dirty dishes, skip the sieve and clean pan part.)
4-Add the cream and heat through, stirring. Do not allow the soup to approach the boiling point. Check the consistency and add more stock if necessary, then season with salt and pepper. Pour into heated bowls (We did not use heated bowls.) and garnish with basil. Serve at once.
A good, crusty bread (I used a rosemary loaf)
Seasoning of your choice (I used a garlic and herb blend that I put into just about everything I cook. Just dried, minced garlic would work here too, or even a little oregano.)
Slice bread and spread on a cookie sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle on seasoning. Liberally sprinkle with Parmesan. Pop into 350 degree oven until lightly browned and cheese is melted.
Even Simon approved of this meal, slurping his soup up happily. A definite winner that I will make again.