This would have been great with some Foccacia Bread dipped in olive oil. Perhaps, even a light salad. Or maybe a fancy grilled cheese sandwich! 🙂
Italian Tomato-Basil Soup
2 cans Crushed Tomotoes
2 cups Vegetable Broth
3 Tbsp Sugar (or to taste)
Ground pepper, to taste
1 bunch Fresh Basil
2 Tbsp Vegetable oil
1 large Shallot
1/2 whole Onion, diced
3 cloves Galic sliced
optional: 1 cup heavy cream
In a large stockpot, heat vegetable oil over medium-low heat. Add sliced garlic, finely diced shallots and onion. Simmer for 5-10 minutes, or until onion starts to caramelize.
Add cans of crushed tomatoes; add sugar. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 5-10 minutes. Stir in vegetable broth. Remove from heat and let cool a bit. Working in batches, puree the soup mixture in a blender or use an immersion blender. (NOTE: Heated liquid expands tremendously when you try to puree it — only fill it halfway full at most, each time!) Put pureed mixture in a bowl, then rinse the stockpot out and put pureed soup base back in.
OPTIONAL: If you’d like a smooth texture to the soup, you should cool it and strain it at this point, working in batches, with a sieve. (I prefer the more rustic texture of pureed but unstrained soup.)
It can remain in this state (refrigerated) for a few days, until ready to serve.
To serve, bring tomato soup mixture to medium heat. Laddle in your soup bowl. Top with basil, rolled gently and sliced very thinly (i.e., chiffonade). And enjoy!
Serve with crusty bread, salad, or cheese toasts; pair with a crisp Pinot Grigio or Savignon Blanc, or even a deep red like a Cabernet.
OPTIONAL WITH CREAM: When heating soup mixture, stir in cream. And then serve in your beautiful, big soup bowl. (In this way, you are keeping the cream out of the pureeing step — which might whip it — and also the heating-to-boiling step — which might curdle it.)
I cooked this without the cream (to save calories). This soup had a great flavor and was very simple to make. I packed it for a work lunch. Mmmmm… Recommended!