One of my favorite quick lunches is my Tomato Basil Soup and a grilled cheese sandwich. It’s a great way to use tomatoes when they’re abundant in the summer, as well as the not-so-tasty versions available in the winter. Roasting the tomatoes brings out a rich deep concentrated tomato flavor so don’t skip that step!
For dinner-worthiness, add a small amount of cream or milk to the soup. It’s a great first course for a dinner party, and can even be served in small teacups or tiny soup bowls for sipping at a cocktail party. Serve this Tomato Basil Soup hot or cold depending on the time of year.
Use fresh basil for the best flavor. Regular Italian basil is generally available year-round at the produce department. Mix up the flavors of the soup by adding lemon basil, cinnamon basil or even purple basil in the summer!
From the kitchen of A Food Lover’s Delight….
Tomato Basil Soup
12 pear-shaped tomatoes, halved lengthwise
2 T olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
2 T butter
1 (28 oz) can whole tomatoes and their liquid
1 T sugar or agave syrup
4 c fresh basil leaves, plus 4 sprigs for garnish
1 quart chicken stock/broth
1/4 c Creme Fraiche
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Place the pear-shaped tomato halves, cut side up, on a foil-covered baking pan that has been drizzled with some of the olive oil. Drizzle the rest of the olive oil on top of the tomatoes and roast for 20 – 30 minutes until the tomatoes are slightly shriveled.
3. After the pear-shaped tomatoes are roasted, saute the onions in 2 T butter over low heat until onions are slightly caramelized.
4. Add the roasted tomatoes, canned tomatoes and their liquid, sugar or agave syrup, and basil leaves to the onions.
5. Cook for 10 minutes over medium heat, stirring often.
6. Puree the tomato mixture with a hand-held blender (or use a stand blender and puree in batches). Puree well so that the tomato skins are pulverized and the soup is smooth.
7. Return to pan and add chicken stock/broth.
8. Cook for an additional 10 minutes over low heat until slightly bubbling.
9. Ladle soup into bowls.
10. Garnish each soup with a dollop of creme fraiche and sprig of basil.
Serves 4 as a soup course.
Variations: Stir in 2 tablespoons of heavy or whipping cream or 1/4 cup milk for a creamier soup. Add some garlic or grated parmesan to the soup for a different flavor. Or add a piece of parmesan rind and cook the soup a bit longer if you have the time — remove rind before serving soup. The parmesan rind will provide a rich flavor to the soup. Substitute vegetable stock/broth for the chicken stock/broth.
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