Fresh food, fast! Tomato basil soup

I am a huge fan of soups and right about now we have plenty of yummy ingredients showing up at farmers markets and supermarkets.  Here is a soup that will be in your bowl in 15 min.  

Again, when I do my food posts, I call them my no recipe/recipe.  You decide the quantities:) It’s not rocket science, contrary to so many cooking shows…cooking is free form, unlike baking.  It is an art.

Gather up your ingredients: 4 fresh large tomatoes (or if you are stuck, canned), 1 small onion, fresh basil, 1 carrot, 1/2 cup of veg.stock (or water)

Core tomatoes and chop coarsely

Chop coarsely onion and carrot

Sautee onion and carrot in a glug or two of olive oil for about 5 min….they shouldn’t drown, just be allowed to glide around

Add tomatoes and veg.stock.  Bring to a boil, then turn to med/low for 15 minutes.  All you are doing is allowing the carrot to cook through.  If you like your soup thick, just simmer a little longer and the extra water will evaporate out of the soup.

Remove from stove and either use a hand blender right in the pot, or use food processor(do small batches, so you are not overheating the vessel), or pass through a food mill.  All work, all give different textures, and all vary in time required to use and clean.  I love to use the hand blender because it is so easy to use and clean.

Puree until desired consistency.  Throw in a good bunch of basil and pulse to combine.  If you like, you can add a little bit of 35% cream.

Serve in bowl with sprig of basil to garnish.  I still eat mine the way I ate it as a kid…a whole bunch of crackers in the bottom of the bowl, with soup over top.  Yummmmmm!

SECRET* The secret ingredient to this soup is the addition of the carrot.  Carrots contain natural sugars that reveal when cooked, that’s why roasted carrots are so delicious.  The carrots add an element to the soup that softens the acidity of the tomatoes and naturally sweetens.  I learned this from an Italian friend:)…ps. use carrots in you tomato sauce as well, it makes the sauce soooo rich tasting.




PS. substitution:  use rosemary instead of basil, but because of its natural intensity, throw it into the pot when sweating onions and carrot.