Unlike most kids, growing up I can honestly say I never had a bowl of tomato soup. Never. My mom neither made it nor bought it when I was little, and I didn’t really have an interest to make it when I move out. But all that changed when I had my first bowl of tomato basil several years ago. The addition of basil totally has me hooked. Tomato soup seems so much more worth while with the addition of one of my most favorite herbs.
And now that the weather seems to have finally decided to turn cold after what has been a freakishly warm winter, it gives me all the more reason to make a nice big pot of soup. This soup is more on the rustic side, because it does have some tomato chunks in it, which I actually really like. The recipe made enough for Mike and I to have several lunches during the week, and a lazy dinner or two (with a simple salad) after a long day at work.
You can serve this with a sprinkling of Italian cheese, a little basil, a little drizzle of olive oil, some warm homemade galicy croutons, a toasty grilled cheese or just straight up plain; any way I’m sure it won’t disappoint.
Tomato Basil SoupAdapted from Jenny Steffens Hobick This should easily serve 4-6 people, and there will probably be leftovers (which re-heat quite nicely) 8 cloves of garlic, minced 2 shallots or one medium onion, grated 3 tablespoons of olive oil 2, 28 oz. cans of crushed tomatoes 1, 28 oz. cans of whole peeled tomatoes 4 cups (1 quart) of low sodium stock (chicken or vegetable) 1 cup water 2 tsp of sea salt 2 tsp of sugar 1/2 tsp of fresh ground black pepper 3/4 cup of heavy cream 3/4 cup of lightly packed fresh basil, julienned pecorino or parmesan cheese, optional additional basil, optional
In a saucepan 4 quarts or larger, (4 quarts just fits and should work, but I recommend going larger if you can), sauté garlic and shallots in olive oil on medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes, being careful not to burn the garlic. Add the crushed tomatoes and stir. Add the whole tomatoes one at a time, squeezing them into the pan to break them up into bite-size pieces (warning – this can make a little bit of a mess if you’re not careful). Add leftover juice from whole tomatoes. Add stock, water, salt, pepper and sugar; stir. Bring to a simmer, and cook the soup on medium for 10 minutes. Adjust salt and pepper if needed.
To finish, reduce the heat to low and stir in heavy cream and basil. Serve topped with a sprinkling of Italian cheese, a little basil, a little drizzle of olive oil, some warm homemade galicy croutons, a toasty grilled cheese or just straight up plain.