My Favorite Tomato Basil SoupPosted: October 2, 2014
We are falling quickly into Fall! I am a-okay with that (except for the impending leaf mold–ugh, my allergies are inescapable). Fall is my favorite season and–now that we have hit the first of October–I can start including pumpkin in all of my recipes without shame! Well, truth be told, aside from Dunkin’s pumpkin coffee, I still haven’t been hit with major pumpkin cravings. Tikka masala, on the other hand, I would like to eat for dinner every night for the rest of time. Ahem. I had a life-changing dish of tikka masala when we went out to eat with M’s mum and aunt last week. Seriously, I am still dreaming about it. I may try to adapt Aarti’s recipe for a slow-cooker. My crockpot is my saving grace these days. I have a slightly new schedule that includes two later evenings per week. Though I’m still home within a fairly reasonable time, given M’s unpredictable schedule, its easier for me to set something to cook through the day so he can eat it early if he has an evening call. And with our Saturday classes starting this weekend (Auditions! My favorite day!) our schedules are back to being downright hectic. We will adjust soon enough…I was almost getting bored with normal days.
That reminds me: I have this new schedule, in part, because I–technically–have a new job! Really, its more like an uber-promotion. I’m still with the same companies that I love and adore, but I am officially a salaried employee! Yep, this twenty-something has finally landed the grown-up job! Guys, I’m comparing insurance plans and everything! Whoa. My first ‘day’ is next week, and then I have orientation the following week and we get right on rolling like nothing has changed.
Except that Columbus day will be my first paid holiday ever! Anyways, to say the least, it is super comforting that I don’t have to worry about securing benefits and can really focus on my job full-time. I did have to give up my box office job, which was sadder than I thought. But, chances are, I will probably see more shows now that I am not working at the venue, and I expect I’ll be stopping by to visit and chat. M still works there, so I’ll certainly keep up with everyone. They all love Punc there, too, and I am sure they wouldn’t mind a visit or two from her.
In the meantime, while I can’t yet give you a recipe that will make you fall head-over-heels in love with Tikka Masala…I can maybe do the same for Tomato Basil Soup. I’ve talked about my childhood of picky eating before. When I finally decided I could eat soup (savory liquids were too weird for a while), it was a couple years before I would eat any soup except for Tomato Basil. Thus, I am quite well-versed in all of the variations of Tomato Basil soup: unfussy versions with little-to-no cream where the tomato flavors stands out boldly all the way to the soft, smooth versions where cream and butter soften the brisk tomato edge. This recipe, my favorite, sits somewhere in the middle. The cream and butter make this rich and filling, but using the tomato juice along with the tomatoes and tomato paste prevents that bright tomato flavor from being overwhelmed. A touch of lemon and basil add just enough depth to keep things interesting. The best thing is, this soup comes together in under 30 minutes for a quick, comforting dinner!
Tomato Basil Soup
Serves: 4 | Prep Time: 5 min. | Cook time: 20 min.
- 1 (15 oz) can of high quality crushed or diced tomatoes
- 2 c. tomato juice
- 2 tsp. tomato paste
- 1/2 tsp. lemon zest
- 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp. cracked black pepper
- about 10 basil leaves
- 1/2 c. heavy cream
- 4 Tbsp. butter
Add the tomatoes, tomato juice, tomato paste, lemon zest, garlic, salt, and pepper in a large pot. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes. If using an immersion blender: drop the basil into the soup and blend to desired consistency. I like a slightly chunky soup. If using a blender: please only fill the blender halfway–or less! The heat and steam will expand and you will risk painful splatter if you overfill the blender. Do the soup in multiple portions if needed. Using a blender, I would blend about half of the total soup to get the thick consistency I prefer. Return all soup to the pot, stir in cream and butter. Stir occasionally until butter is melted, then stir briskly to fully incorporate all ingredients. Serve immediately.