Thursday, February 20, 2014

Tomato Basil Soup

There can be nothing more comforting than pulling from the freezer bright orange, yellow and red once juicy tomatoes and fragrant, lively basil putting them together and eating them in the middle of a February snow storm that just. will. not. go. away. We've officially earned the title MinnSNOWta this winter. Serisouly ridiculous. I look outside and all I see is a real life snow globe. I'm sure this isn't fair to the loves of my life, but sometimes I dream of where my husband and I will retire to the minute we are empty nesters. Sedona? Palm Springs? Fort Meyers? And those are the things that get a woman through. Besides eating bright, fresh and lively flavors mid-winter snow storm. 

What do you usually do with your tomatoes in August when you've just about had enough? Last summer I had an amazing CSA and by the end of the summer I was throwing whole, washed tomatoes into ziploc bags and freezing them whole. I didn't know how it was going to turn out, I just couldn't look at those ripe red globes any longer! And, the freezing process truly worked! 

For this soup, I literally dethawed the tomatoes for maybe an hour on the counter, but then became impartient and just threw them in the soup pot, cranking the heat. Ready for simmer. Before kids, I used to cook leisurely, use up 300 pots and pans, and make seriously fancy dinners. Now, it's all what's for dinner? When's dinner ready? How fast can it happen? And I'm starving NOW!

Unfortunately, the kids weren't crazy about orange soup. The 3 year old had a couple bites, but the 6 year old I had to beg to dip his grilled cheese in. Just like ketchup, right? No. Not even close. Are you kidding me? 

But! I never give up! I always present it to them and one day they'll be tomato basil soup lovers! 

Printable Recipe Here

Tomato Basil Soup
recipe adapted from

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped coarsely
6-8 fresh or frozen tomatoes
1 teaspoon sugar
4 cups homemade chicken stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup loosely packed basil leaves
1 cup 1/2 & 1/2 or heavy cream

In a soup pot over moderate heat, warm olive oil and add chopped onions. Saute for 8-10 minutes until translucent. Add tomatoes, sugar, stock, and salt and pepper. Bring up to a gentle boil and simmer for 40 minutes, reducing the heat if needed. 

In batches, move mixture to a food processor, a good blender, or use a immersion blender inside of the soup pot. If using a food processor or blender, let the mixture cool for a couple minutes before blending. While blending, make sure to place a towel over the opened feed shute to allow steam to escape.  Add basil leaves to the mixture and give it a whir. 

Once you're done pureeing the tomato mixture, return to soup pot and stir in 1/2 & 1/2 or heavy cream, if using. Season with additional salt and pepper, if needed. Serve hot with crunchy crackers.

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I'd love to hear all about your kitchen adventures! Xo, Becki