Jun 122015

No Fail Friday: Tomato Basil Soup – Two ways for Four Seasons


If you’re anything like me, when you think of soup you normally think of every season but summer. The problem is, my favorite tomato soup recipe calls for lots of juicy tomatoes, handfuls of basil, plus garlic and onion, so summer is actually the perfect time to make it when all the ingredients are at their ripest (and cheapest). Why not have a bowl of fresh-from-the-garden tomato soup on a rainy summer day or after one too many grilling nights? It’s quick and easy and leftovers mean you can skip another night of cooking later in the week which is never a bad thing!

It’s time to make tomato soup a year-round meal. And while we’re at it, why can’t we tweak the recipe so that we use the best ingredients in the summer and then switch out the often hard (and more expensive) winter tomatoes for the canned version in the off seasons? Just don’t ever skimp on the basil and you’ll have that wonderful summer flavor all year long.

If your weather’s stuck in the ‘tweens—with warm and sunny one minute and cold and damp the next, it’s the perfect time to make a batch of soup, but with nothing ripe on the vines yet it’s also a great time to give the canned version a try. I’ve included both recipes for you to use all year long. And as long as you’re eating this delicious soup year-round, don’t hesitate to adjust the “sides” too. In the winter a crusty bread does the trick with some olive oil in a bowl for dipping or your favorite cheese to go with it. In the summer, small cubes of a mozzarella and pesto panini make a delicious add on (or drop in), but in the hot weather just stick to a light salad and a breadstick. This soup is so versatile you can even eat it cold. Just toss some finely chopped cucumber and red pepper into the bowl with the soup and, voila, you’ve got gazpacho!

Skill: Easy
Cost: $$$$
Nutrition: ♥♥♥
Skills: Roasting, mincing, chopping, puréeing 
Garden Candy Basics - fundamental vegucation for everybody!


Summertime Roasted Tomato and Basil Soup

Ingredients:

  • 6 pounds of ripe tomatoes, cored and halved
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup olive oil, plus a drizzle for the pot
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 large yellow onions, chopped
  • 5 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3 cups of fresh basil
  • 2 teaspoons thyme (fresh or dry)
  • 1 quart chicken or vegetable stock

Directions:

  1. Pre heat the oven to 425 degrees. Place halved tomatoes on a baking sheet with sides, sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss with ¼ cup olive oil.
  2. Cook for an hour, but check at 45 minutes. The baking sheet will be filled with liquid, but the tomatoes should start to roast on top.
  3. While the tomatoes are roasting, put the butter and a drizzle of olive oil into a soup pot and heat over medium high heat. Add onion, garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until tender, about 10 minutes.
  4. When tomatoes have roasted, add them (including liquid) to soup pot along with the basil, thyme, and stock. Bring to a boil and then reduce and simmer for 30 minutes.
  5. Let cool and then pulse, in small quantities, in a blender so that the soup still has a thick texture.
  6. Return to pot to reheat and enjoy!

Serves 8-10

Cool Weather Tomato and Basil Soup

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 medium yellow onions, chopped
  • 4 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3 28-ounce cans of whole tomatoes (basil added is fine)
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 cups of fresh basil
  • 2 teaspoons thyme (fresh or dry)
  • 1 quart chicken or vegetable stock (1 cup reserved)

Directions:

  1. Heat olive oil and butter in soup pot over medium high heat.
  2. Add onions, garlic and red pepper flakes and, stirring frequently, cook until onions are tender and begin to brown.
  3. Add canned tomatoes, salt, pepper, basil, thyme and the stock minus one cup.
  4. Bring soup to a boil and then reduce and simmer for 30 minutes.
  5. Let cool and then pulse, in small quantities, in a blender so that the soup still has a thick texture.
  6. Return to pot to reheat and enjoy!

Serves 8-10

Laura

A mother of three grown children, she still finds she cooks for five when making dinner. She loves her antique home, but is thrilled her kitchen has a few modern touches and has been known to fit entire girl scout troops around the island for cooking baking parties. When Laura’s not blogging about food and creating new recipes she can usually be found teaching preschool or texting her kids to call home.

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