Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Tomato Basil Soup on a Grey Late Winter Day

Oh, color! How we've missed you. The park is barren, the skies are bleak, even my puppy is gray. The last fact is the inevitable consequence of returning home from the soggy, brown park and finding the contractors next door pouring a concrete wall. Man, there is no slowing down a strong puppy. He was lugging some extra pounds of concrete and still tearing around like a madman.

Anyhoo, I made this soup last night and it was delish. I've stipulated brands of chicken broth and tomatoes below because both will influence flavor and cooking time for this recipe. A food mill is also your best bet here. If you don't have one, a Cuisinart should be your second choice, a blender your third.

Tomato Basil Soup
Print recipe only here

Serves 4-6

Two 28-ounce cans Muir Glen Whole Peeled Tomatoes, pureed in food mill or Cuisinart
2 T olive oil
pinch chili flakes
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
handful fresh basil, chopped
32-ounces chicken broth (Imagine Organic)
kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Run tomatoes through the food mill, using a medium-fine disc. Reserve food mill - you'll use it again later. Chop garlic, onion and basil.

Preheat olive oil and chili flakes in a sauce pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and saute gently for 3 minutes or so.

Add the pureed tomatoes and basil. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for about 20 minutes until it darkens to orange-red.

Add the chicken stock and bring back to a simmer, cooking another 30 minutes or so. Taste. If it seems a bit bland, continue to cook for another 15-20 minutes until it reduces further.

When the flavor seems deep enough, return the soup to the food mill and puree into a clean pot. NOTE: If you are using a blender or Cuisinart to puree the soup, you must cool the soup first or it will explode all over you and your kitchen!!

Reheat the soup, taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary. Serve. If you're trying to impress, garnish with a wee sprig of basil.

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