The first time I had this soup was in Amsterdam. Paul was there on business, I was there for pleasure.
Well, not necessarily this soup, but it was tomato soup like I’d never tasted. Thick, rich and best of all, with a dollop of creme fraiche hiding at the bottom of the bowl.
Then when I saw Ina Garten make this recipe I knew it had to be close–and it was.
Ingredients are simple: tomatoes, chicken stock, onions, garlic and basil, lots of fresh basil. The secret is roasting the tomatoes first, just to bring out the flavor.
Meanwhile, this soup starts like most others with a couple of onions chopped and sauteed in butter. Once the tomatoes are ready, combine everything together in a Dutch oven and simmer. I think I made it for about thirty minutes before getting antsy. Last, the whole thing gets blended, processed or pureed with one of those special hand blenders (which I received as a gift from Jen last year…but runs on American voltage so it’s in the “save for the States” cupboard for now.) In the meantime there’s plenty of soup to savor.
Roasted Tomato Basil Soup
by Ina Garten
- 3 pounds ripe plum tomatoes, cut in half
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons good olive oil
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups chopped yellow onions (2 onions)
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 (28-ounce) canned plum tomatoes, with their juice
- 4 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1 quart chicken stock or water
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Toss together the tomatoes, 1/4 cup olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread the tomatoes in 1 layer on a baking sheet and roast for 45 minutes.
In an 8-quart stockpot over medium heat, saute the onions and garlic with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the butter, and red pepper flakes for 10 minutes, until the onions start to brown. Add the canned tomatoes, basil, thyme, and chicken stock. Add the oven-roasted tomatoes, including the liquid on the baking sheet. Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for 40 minutes. Pass through a food mill fitted with the coarsest blade. Taste for seasonings. Serve hot or cold.
More ideas from trusted kitchens elsewhere…