Monday, August 22, 2011

Garden-Fresh Tomato & Basil Soup

A friend gave us a ton of tomatoes last week, and I wanted to use them all up in something delicious.  I got ahead of myself, and was using them in sandwiches, and then a huge salad, so when it came time to make this tomato soup, I didn't have nearly as many leftover as I thought, so I ended up making a very small batch.  We went to the local organic farm the morning I made this and brought back a ton of fresh basil... it was so beautiful.  Some of that went into this soup, and I made the rest into pesto, which I froze. 

When our friend dropped off the tomatoes, she mentioned that most tomato soup recipes call for higher-fat ingredients like butter and cream, so I went looking for a good-looking, healthy recipe to make.  I found a few but finally settled on this one.  The recipe states that you can add cream or half-and-half if you want, but it is fine without it, too.  The garnish on top is plain Greek yogurt.  If you don't have Greek yogurt, add a tiny bit of milk to regular plain yogurt until it is of the right consistency.  I actually just spooned the Greek yogurt into a snack-sized ziplock bag, snipped a corner off, and "piped" it out on the soup.  (I've done frostings the same way- those bags are a great kitchen tool!) 

The soup doesn't actually need the yogurt garnish; I actually only did it for photo-taking purposes, lol.  The kids LOVED the "spider-web" design and everyone had some yogurt on their soup.  This was a good soup and I'd make it again!

I love tomato soup.... I have a few recipes posted on this blog already.  The search feature on my blog doesn't seem to work well, so I'll link them below for you.  Check them out!  :)  Actually, now that I realize how many 'mater soup recipes I have, I think it's time to add a tomato soup tag! 

Tomato & Basil Soup - My favorite!!
Tomato & Tortellini Soup
Creamy Tomato Soup (With sun-dried tomatoes)
Tomato-Blue Cheese Soup - Very good, as well
Salmorejo- Cold Andalusian Tomato Soup

Garden-Fresh Tomato & Basil Soup
adpapted from Ciao Chow Linda
Small batch- Serves 2-4

1.5-2 pounds tomatoes, stemmed & cut into chunks (no need to take off skins or seeds)
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 stick celery, sliced
2 carrots, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, diced (I used a red onion)
1/2 teaspon salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 14. oz can reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/2 bunch basil (about 20 leaves)
decoration: plain Greek yogurt, OR regular yogurt thinned out with milk (optional)

1.  In a large pot, saute the onion, garlic, carrots and celery in the olive oil until softened. Add the tomatoes, chicken broth, salt, and pepper. Cover, and cook on low for about 1/2 hour.  Add the fresh basil.  Use an immersion blender to puree it right in the pot, or puree everything in a regular blender, then pour back into the pot. (Vent the lid if using a regular blender!!!) 

2.  Decorate servings with either Greek yogurt or a bit of plain yogurt thinned out with a little milk until it's the pourable. Make either spirals or concentric circles with the mixture, then take a toothpick and move it back and forth to create the web design. Sprinkle a little minced basil on top, if desired. 
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