Tomato Basil Soup

TomatoBasilSoupVertbfLOIn truth, I think this soup needs some work.

Maybe I should have cooked the veggies longer; I don’t know – it seemed to JUST miss the mark for me. Too bad, to – I was really looking forward to this. Still, I’m thinking the leftovers will do a bang-up (and much more healthy) job replacing the canned tomato soup when I make my next batch of Chicken Paprika. Or maybe I’ll use it in place of the plain canned tomatoes when I make Country Captain Chicken – a mixture of chicken, breaded and fried in a bit of oil – just to crisp it – then combined with sautéed veggies and canned tomatoes in a kind of stew and served over rice. I’ll let you know.

In any event, this soup, served with Cuban Bread I reheated in a slow oven so it was hot and crusty, and a nice tossed salad, was a nice, healthy-ish start to a weekend which will see us checking out the Madison Farmer’s Market and the Sun Prairie Sweet Corn Festival. Hmmm, maybe I should’ve had seconds on the soup…

•4 (14-oz) cans of diced tomatoes
•1 onion, diced
•6 cloves of garlic, diced – go for it, I used at least this much and it was not
overpowering at all
•1 green pepper, chopped – I used a mixture of red, yellow and orange peppers
•2 or 3 stalks of celery, chopped
•1 cup white wine – I used some chardonnay I had lying around
•1 cup half and half
•1 bunch of fresh basil, stems removed – I plucked the leaves from ‘teh Garden’, then rinsed and chopped ‘em
•Olive oil
•Salt and pepper
•Parmesan cheese

In a large pot, sauté the onion and garlic in about a tablespoon of olive oil for a couple minutes. Add the celery and green pepper, and cook until the onion is translucent. Here’s where I think I screwed up – I would add all the veggies at once and cook them well. I did add a good sprinkling of sea salt, which I think helped. Add the tomatoes, half the basil, freshly ground black pepper to taste, and the wine and simmer for 20 minutes or so. Put about half of the vegetable from the soup into a blender, along with the cup of half and half, and blend until smooth.

Add back into the pot, along with the remainder of the basil and four or five dashes of Tabasco (or Cajun Power Spicy Garlic Sauce – I used Tabasco Chipotle this time) and return to a simmer.

Serve with fresh shaved cheese. Don’t forget the hot and crusty bread.

Thinking about the cheese; you could probably drop a bit of the chopped rind from your Parmesan or Pecorino into the soup while it’s simmering – just a thought.

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