This is my fave tomato soup ever, I think. A former Allrecipes.com addict, I first made this recipe with fresh, farmer's market heirloom tomatoes, and it was delish. It was delish when I made it again recently, with home-grown tomatoes from a good friend. I've copied the way Eating, Etc. makes it; cutting down the butter and using half-and-half instead of cream. It's still just as good- and there's no reason not to cut out some extra calories. I hope to get some more home-grown tomatoes from my friend so that I can make it at least once more!
(Note: I've made this a few times this winter and I'm happy to report it is still DELICIOUS with winter tomatoes! This stuff is so good!!
Note 2: My store was out of fresh basil when I made this March 2011. I have a small fresh sage plant so I used sage instead- it was still very good!)
I was a dork and forgot to write tomato juice on my grocery list, and I don't keep it around the house. So, online, I looked up a tomato juice substitute and found that one could use equal parts tomato sauce and water. I used 2 cups (or one 15 or 16 oz. can) tomato sauce and 2 cups water. It worked out great, but I do prefer using tomato juice. We like to have this with Parmesan Focaaccia bread.
Note: I made this 9/8/2012 and only had two tablespoons heavy cream on hand, and I also used just 2 Tbs. butter and it was just fine!! Very good, in fact. No need to add so much fat to this recipe.
Tomato & Basil Soupfrom Eating, Etc, via Allrecipes
4 medium tomatoes
4 cups tomato juice (can use up to 6 cups)
2-3 fresh garlic cloves, minced
14 leaves fresh basil (probably just under 1/4c)
1 cup half & half or 2-3 Tbs. heavy cream
2-4 Tablespoons butter, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1) Place tomatoes, juice, & garlic in a large pot over medium heat. Cover and bring to a simmer, cooking for 30 minutes. Remove from heat.
2) Add basil leaves to tomato mixture and purée (I used an immersion blender but a regular blender or food processor is fine too. If you use a regular blender, you must vent the lid or you might have a hot tomato soup explosion).
3) With tomato-basil mixture back in large pot, over medium heat, stir in half & half, butter, and pepper if desired. Heat, stirring until butter is melted. Do not boil!
4) Serve immediately with shredded parmesan cheese, or garnish of your choice.
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