Tomato Basil Soup

Soup: What you Need

  • 1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Medium Onions, chopped roughly
  • 6 Medium Garlic cloves (Mince as finely as you can, or use a garlic press)
  • Dash of Cayenne or hot pepper flakes
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 4 (28-ounce) can Whole Tomatoes in juice (We like Muir Glen Fire Roasted tomatoes-you can find them at Sprouts or Central Market)
  • 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
  • 6 slices of good sandwich bread, crusts removed, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 4 cups low-sodium Chicken Broth
  • 1/2 Cup of chopped Chives
  • 1/2 Cup of chopped Basil
  • 1/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese
Cutting Onions 1
Cutting Onions 2

Heat 4 Tablespoons of Olive Oil over Medium-high heat in a good-sized pot (you are going to need 4-6 inches of clearance from the top of the soup to the rim of the pot) until oil shimmers and moves freely (about 2 mins). Add Onion, Garlic, Cayenne Pepper (optional), and Bay leaves. (forgive the blurry pictures – we were in a hurry to get dinner ready!)

Caramelizing Onions

Stir to avoid Garlic burning, and cook until Onions are translucent, 3-5 minutes.

Pour in 4 cans of Tomato with their juices.

Muir Glen

Use a wooden spoon or potato masher to break up tomatoes into small pieces (no bigger than 2-3 inches).

Mashing Tomatoes

“Bruise” 1/4 cup of Basil leaves, roughly chop, and add to soup. (Suggestion: “Bruising” any herb brings out the rich flavor of the herb, and will make your soup much more aromatic. Simply use the flat side of a good sized butcher’s knife and place over the herb leaves. Pound the flat side of the knife with your fist 2 or 3 times.)

Chopped Basil

Throw in the Brown Sugar and Bread pieces. The reason we are using Bread instead of Cream (as with traditional recipes) is two-fold: first, it is healthier, and second, cream thickens the soup but dulls the flavor, while the bread achieves the right thickness without dulling the flavor.

Bread

Bring the mixture up to a boil. Stir the mixture frequently. Reduce heat to medium and cook until bread begins to break apart, 3-5 mins.

Stir bread in

Remove Bay leaves and throw them away.

If you have a hand-held blender, this would be the time to use it. Remove soup from the heat and put the blender’s blade 2-3 inches below the surface of the soup (otherwise, you will start slinging soup all over the place). Add 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil and blend until soup is a nice smooth texture (2-3 minutes). If you are using a non-stick pot, be careful not to scratch the bottoms or sides with the metallic blender. Stir up the bottom contents of the pot with a wooden spoon to ensure you blend evenly.

Hand Blender

If you do not have a hand-held blender, use a regular blender. Make sure the glass can take heat! (Read the labels, box instructions, or look up your blender Make/Model on the internet) Let the soup sit for 5-10 mins before you add to the blender. Only fill blender half-way and seal lid tightly. (Suggestion: the heat from the soup will expand in the sealed space, so use a kitchen towel to hold the lid down and ensure you do not spill – otherwise, you’re kitchen will look like a cheap horror movie). Add 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil and blend until soup is a nice smooth texture (2-3 minutes). Put the newly blended soup into another pot or heat-resistant bowl. Repeat this process until all the soup is blended.

Return soup to original pot, and pour in Chicken Broth. Bring soup back to a boil, and season with Salt and Pepper to your preference.

Add Chicken Stock

Serve individually in bowls. Roughly chop remaining 1/4 Cup of Basil, and add to the top. Server with a side of grated Parmesan Cheese.

Here is a picture of our Table Setting

Table Setting
Workout – Run 1 mile for time
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4 thoughts on “Tomato Basil Soup

    • Hi Anne!

      We are actually going to update this recipe, adding bacon, a little cream, and some smoked Gouda. However, this is a great recipe and I think it will be a hit! Try it with some grilled cheese sandwiches or a salad, and let me know how it turns out.

      Thanks for the comment.

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