It’s a rainy day here in Iowa. As my son calls it, this is “duck weather.” I can’t argue with that. And what is better on a chilly rainy day than a hot bowl of soup? Not much. This soup can’t be canned, but it can be frozen if you have a lot of tomatoes to use up. Same with the basil. You can dry it, or you can make a pesto and freeze it. NEVER can anything with oil in it.
This recipe is not an exact recipe. It’s one of those “a little of this, a little of that, a dash of salt, maybe this will be good in it” kind of recipes. So don’t be afraid! Just try it! If you like a heartier soup, add some mushrooms and balsamic vinegar. If you have an onion you need to get rid of, dice it up and sautee it before you add your tomatoes. Maybe toss in a green pepper.
So on with the recipe:
Fresh Tomato and Basil Soup
5-8 large fresh tomatoes or a dozen or so *plum, amish paste, or roma tomatoes.
About 1/4 cup chopped fresh Basil leaves
Fresh Oregano (optional)
1-2 cloves smashed or minced fresh garlic
Pepper Flakes or cayenne pepper (just a pinch)
Salt and Pepper to taste (don’t forget, I always use Kosher salt, so if you’re using table salt, use less!)
Evaporated milk or heavy cream (you will only need about 1/3 – 1/2 cup depending on your preference and the amount of tomatoes you have)
Peel (if you want) and dice fresh tomatoes, place in a heavy bottom stock pot or dutch oven with oil and cook down a bit until they’re almost boiling. Make sure you have enough liquid. If you’re using the fleshier tomatoes such as Roma or Amish Paste, add some chicken or vegetable stock – maybe about a cup. Add your garlic (minced or crushed), fresh basil leaves, fresh oregano, pepper flakes.
Let simmer until the tomatoes break down a bit. If you’ve left the skins on, this will take a while. If you’ve blanched and peeled the tomatoes, it will take about 10-15 minutes or so.
Once your tomatoes are cooked down, use an immersion blender (or put them in your blender – after letting it cool for a little bit) to blend everything until slightly smooth or as smooth or chunky as you like.
Then cook it a little more to allow the flavors to blend and brighten, you can salt and pepper to taste. When you’re ready to serve it, add the condensed milk or heavy cream and stir to mix and warm the cream.
Serve with grilled cheese and avocado or pickle sandwiches with a hearty or thick sliced bread for optimum dipping! You can also keep it a little more “chunky” and serve over quinoa or rice. (Here’s a webpage describing how to cook quinoa – don’t be afraid of the quinoa! [Pronounced KEEN-wa] http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-cook-quinoa-63344)