There’s nothing quite like tomato soup made from fresh tomatoes and basil. Once you try it, you’ll never want it any other way!
Got tomatoes? Yup, me too!
Whether your garden (or your mom’s, neighbor’s, friends, etc.) is overflowing or you just can’t pass up the beautiful seasonal bounty at the grocery store, farmer’s market or local roadside stand, I’ve got a delicious idea for you – Fresh Tomato Basil Soup!
If you’re thinking that soup should be strictly relegated to fall and winter, think outside the box a bit. Not only are there tons of summer veggies that are perfect for soup-making – but also, soup accompanied by a fresh salad, makes a wonderful light, healthy and delicious warm weather meal.
I bet you eat all kinds of hot food (as in warm-hot, not spicy-hot), right? Pasta, pizza, grilled meats and veggies, stir fries, etc. – so why not soup? The trick with summer soups are to keep them light, fresh and very flavorful. This Fresh Tomato Basil Soup ticks all the boxes!
The recipe calls for lots of tomatoes; 8 cups, so it’s a perfect way to utilize the seasonal bounty. It’s easy too, no need to peel or remove the seeds as the whole works will be blended later till silky smooth. The cast of characters also include lots of fresh basil, garlic, a pinch of sugar, balsamic vinegar, a scoop of tomato paste, onions and carrots. The veggies add lots of extra nutrition and also make for a thick and creamy soup (without cream or any other dairy products).
There are lots of fun and delicious ways to finish of this wonderful soup. This time, I added Bocconcini (bite size balls of fresh Mozzarella), crushed red pepper, coarsely chopped pine nuts and tiny basil leaves. Goat cheese and parmesan are wonderful too or you can go as simple as a drizzle of good olive oil and some freshly ground black pepper. Big crusty garlic croutons are another delicious option and add lots of texture and crunch to this creamy soup.
Want to have a taste of summer when the cold winds blow this winter? Utilize your summer tomato loot, whip up a few batches of this Fresh Tomato Basil Soup and pop them in the freezer. You’ll be thrilled to warm up a bowlful on a chilly, blustery day – and you’re tastebuds will remind you of warm sunny days gone by!
A Weekend in The NC Mountains
We’ve been spending this weekend with family in the beautiful North Carolina mountains. It’s been a delightful getaway and a lovely break from the sweltering summer heat. I served this soup for lunch one day with a fresh green salad and toasted cheese sandwiches. All the partakers loved it and just about licked the bowls clean. My son declared it was the best tomato soup he’s ever had!
Scott’s had his camera in tow and has had fun capturing our sweet time together as well as the majestic beauty in this little corner of God’s glorious creation. We hiked to a waterfall, had a picnic and the kids (big and little) had a blast playing in the water. Here are a few favorite shots.
And with this group around, life is anything but dull, no matter where we are!
LOTS OF PEOPLE ASK WHAT KIND OF COOKWARE, SMALL APPLIANCES, CUTLERY, ETC. I USE IN THE KITCHEN. HERE’S WHAT I USED TO MAKE THIS RECIPE.
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 4 medium cloves garlic smashed and sliced
- 2 medium sweet onions coarsely chopped
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 2 medium carrots, roughly chopped
- 8 cups chopped, fresh tomatoes
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 ½-2 teaspoons salt, start with 1½, add more, to taste
- ½ cup packed basil, divided
- Heat oil and butter in a medium size pan. Add garlic and sauté until soft and fragrant, about 3-4 minutes. Add chopped onion and continue to cook until onion is translucent, about 4-5 minutes longer.
- Add chicken broth, carrots, tomatoes, bay leaves, tomato paste, balsamic vinegar, sugar, salt and ¼ cup of the fresh basil leaves. Cook, uncovered for 25 minutes until carrots are very soft.
- Remove bay leaves and allow to cool slightly*, then transfer half of the contents to a blended, add remaining basil and blend until smooth and creamy. Transfer blended soup to a medium size bowl, then repeat blending with second half of soup . Return soup to pot and re-warm gently before serving. Serve hot in soup bowls.
- If desired, top each bow of soup with bite size pieces of fresh mozzarella, finely chopped fresh basil, a pinch of red pepper flakes, a few pine nuts and small fresh basil leaves for garnish.
If you blend hot soup in a regular blender, with the lid on, there’s a chance the heat can cause an explosion and make a huge mess. Be sure to leave the blender cap off and either cover the top with a folded up kitchen towel or paper towels. Another trick that I use, is to insert a narrow mouth funnel into the opening in the blender top. It allows ventilation with no mess.