This is a great soup to have on a cold day. Roasting the tomatoes makes them wonderfully sweet and rich. It has been incredibly windy here in Portland this past week, so a big pot of soup sounded good. I just picked up some fresh basil at Trader Joe’s so I decided to make a batch of tomato and basil soup. In the summer, I strain the soup so it’s thin and light. In the winter, I usually serve it thick and unstrained for a hearty version. It’s great either way and works well for lunch or dinner. I usually serve it with a salad and a crusty piece of bread or a really good sandwich.
Roasted Tomatoes and Garlic:
- 1 28 oz can of whole tomatoes
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 tsp dried basil
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, sliced into thin slivers
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Strain tomatoes from juice, reserving juice for later. Spray cooking spray over a tinfoil lined baking sheet. Add tomatoes, drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the top along with the dried basil and the salt and pepper to taste. Slide the garlic slivers into the tomatoes, they will roast and soften inside as well as infuse the tomatoes with their flavor. Place in oven and roast for approximately 30 minutes. Don’t over roast or they will be dry.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 sweet yellow onion, diced
- 1 1/2 carrots, diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, diced or minced
- 2 cups of vegetable broth or chicken broth (I use homemade chicken broth)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/4 tsp white sugar
- 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 2-3 tbsp fresh chopped basil
- 1/2 cup of non fat milk
Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a dutch oven or large soup pan over medium heat. Add onion, carrot and celery and cook until tender. Add garlic and stir for 30-45 seconds before adding chicken (or vegetable broth), reserved tomato juice (from canned tomatoes), bay leaf, sugar, balsamic vinegar and roasted tomatoes. Cover with a lid and cook over low heat for 2-3 hours.
In a separate bowl add milk. Slowly spoon a little bit of soup mixture into milk to warm (don’t pour cold milk into the soup because it will curdle). Once the bowl of milk is warm add it to the soup along with the fresh basil. Remove the bay leaf and use an immersion blender to blend until smooth. If you want a thin soup, pour mixture through a strainer. If you want thicker soup, serve as is. Enjoy.