January 5, 2010

Tomato-basil soup

Bowl of tomato basil soup.
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I've been soup-obsessed lately. This is likely due to the fact that it's been snowing and snowing and about 12-20 degrees outside for the past few days...also maybe because I love my new immersion blender. Anyways, this tomato-basil soup is a yummy, comforting lunch or dinner. It's easy to make and can be easily adjusted to your specific tastes. 

For example - if you like really creamy soup, add more cream. Or, if you don't like creamy tomato soup, then leave it out. This is the basic recipe I use. This will make about four bowls of soup. 

Tomato-basil soup
1 small onion, chopped
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
28 oz can of diced or crushed tomatoes
about 1-1/2 tablespoons of tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (more or less depending on if you like heat and spice)
1 cup vegetable (or chicken) stock
about 1 teaspoon sugar
sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
a couple of handfuls of fresh (must be fresh) basil
1/2 cup heavy cream (or half and half or milk)
olive oil

In a large soup pot or dutch oven cook the onions and garlic over medium heat until the onions become translucent. Add stock, canned tomatoes, tomato paste, red pepper flakes, sugar, salt, and black pepper. 

Heat until it begins to boil then reduce heat to simmer. Tear basil and add to the pot, reserving a few leaves for garnish. Simmer for about 15 minutes. Using an immersion blender (or you can puree in batches using a regular blender), puree until smooth. 

Add the cream and simmer until warmed through. Be sure to not add the cream when the soup is boiling. Serve immediately topped with reserved basil and some fresh ground black pepper.

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