Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A Month of Soups: Tomato-Basil

We have a lot of vegetarian friends who wanted soup recipes, and we like to eat meatless each week as well. Tomato-Basil soup fits the bill for both. When you make this soup, I want you to set aside 2 cups of it for a soup we’re making later. Since the recipe only serves 6-8, don’t invite too many people over.

This soup is chunky and heavy on herbs and spices, so get your taste-o-meter out. Add more if you want a stronger flavor. If you like cooking with fresh herbs rather than dried, remember that you use less of the dried because the flavor is more concentrated. Fresh does add a lovely greenness to the soup that dried just can’t match. Typically the ratio is 1-3.

Tomato-Basil Soup (6-8 servings)

30 Roma tomatoes (about 3½ #), halved

¼ c olive oil

3 T butter

1 ½ T flour

¼ c red wine

½ c water

1 T honey

3 cans diced tomatoes

6 cloves garlic, minced

½ c dried basil

¼ t red pepper flakes

4 t dried thyme

1 c vegetable broth

fresh basil for garnish

Coat tomatoes with oil and roast at 400° for ~45 minutes. While tomatoes roast, make a roux of the butter and flour in a Dutch oven. Cook about 3 minutes stirring constantly to cook the flour. Whisk in the red wine, water, and honey until smooth. Add canned tomatoes. Add garlic and herbs. Add roasted tomatoes and mash. Add vegetable broth.

Cook on low simmer for about 30 minutes. The soup will be thick. If you want it thinner, add more veggie broth.

I usually serve this soup with toasted (not grilled) cheese sandwiches and some grapes for contrast.

DH’S Rating: 3 Tongues Up. He is not wild about tomato soup of any kind. But he’s a sport for trying all these soups out, wouldn’t you say?

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