I love tomato basil soup, but I had never attempted to make it at home until a couple of days ago.
So we have a small garden in the back yard, and I had maybe 2 dozen cherry tomatoes that were quite ripe and had to be used up.
I decided to put them in a sauce pan with a couple of table spoons of olive oil with no real plan, except to cook them until I could think of how to incorporate them into a meal once they were cooked. Last time a had a similar bunch of tomatoes I made into a pasta sauce.
These cherry tomatoes have a lot of flavor but they were very small and so I would have little juice and flesh. Soup was kind of not the best option but after a few minutes I was committed. With the cherry tomatoes I would make one serving of a light tomato basil soup for dinner.
I chopped two large cloves of garlic and added them to the sauce pan along with salt and pepper. We also have a basil plant out in the garden, so I went outside and got about 10 or so basil leaves, which I washed, chopped and added to the saucepan.
After the tomatoes were cooked, I knew I needed to add some liquid.
I did not have chicken or vegetable stock, but plain water was not going to be a good option for me. So, to a hot cup of water that I heated in my electric tea kettle, I added approximately 1/3 to 1/2 of a chicken bouillon cube.
I poured the tomatoes in the blender and then transferred them back to the sauce pan with the cup of bouillon stock and allowed them to cook a little longer. I used a strainer to remove the seeds and the skins. The result was a super smooth and delicious soup.
I enjoyed the soup with saltine crackers and am truly excited to have learned that it is so simple to prepare.
I will definitely make the soup again. For sure I will try to use homemade chicken or vegetable stock next time because I think this will make it even more delicious, but gosh, that chicken bouillon cube made things so easy. It will certainly continue to be an option.
More often than not, the way that I have been served tomato basil soup at restaurants is a soup prepared with heavy whipping cream. I had cream in my refrigerator, but for sure without cream is the way I prefer it. However, I added cream as an optional ingredient to the recipe.
As can be seen on the photo below, I garnished the light tomato basil soup with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese and mint leaves. I used mint leaves because I was a bit lazy and did not want to go back outside for more basil leaves.
I think one way I could have made this simple soup a little healthier without a lot of effort is by adding some anti-inflammatory spices such as ginger and or turmeric. The acidity of the tomato would make it difficult for these spices to over power the soup. It didn’t cross my mind at the time, otherwise I would have added both of them right before adding the stock. I went ahead and added these as optional ingredients to the written recipe as well.
I don’t use turmeric in many dishes, but after reading a lot about it, I am trying to find uncomplicated ways to use it. A while back I posted a short video on our Gallery about how I use it in tea, and will write about other simple uses as I continue to experiment with it, so stay tuned.
I don’t usually like to get technical when recommending a reading selection, but I am not lying here when I say that this search was super quick. Through a somewhat specific search phrase I came across this article in a neurology journal that contains an overview of turmeric as well as a long list of references used to back the points discussed within. I did not opt to go find a less intimidating article as this one contains great information.
I hope you too think it is helpful, and if you like it, please share the post and point out the article link to a friend. For a few other interesting articles check out our Resources page.
Light Tomato Basil Soup Recipe
1 pt cherry or grape tomatoes, or 3 small Roma tomatoes, chopped
2 tbsp. olive oil
10 basil leaves, chopped
2 lg. garlic cloves, chopped
1 cup chicken or vegetable stock, or 1 cup stock prepared with 1/2 chicken bullion cube
1/2 tsp ginger, optional
1/2 tsp turmeric, optional
1/4 cup heavy cream, optional
- Heat olive oil in medium sauce pan on low to medium heat.
- Add tomatoes, garlic, basil and cook until tomatoes are soft.
- Add ginger and turmeric if using and stir
- Add stock and cook for a few more minutes.
- Add salt and pepper to taste
- Place all ingredients in blender and puree
- Use a sieve to strain and remove tomato peels and seeds.
- Place soup back in sauce pan on low heat if optional heavy cream will be used, and add the cream.
- Simmer for 2-3 minutes.
- Serve on a soup bowl
- Garnish with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese and mint or basil leaves
This next picture is of the first tomato we picked from the garden this summer. The plants did well for a while, but unfortunately a short period of very heavy rain took its toll on the small crop, and the tomatoes that went into this soup were the last for the season.
The day of the storm, many of the larger cherry tomatoes on the plant cracked open and could not be consumed. It’s been about 3 weeks since the two day storm and my husband finally pulled out the plants to make room for some cilantro and basil.
Every planting season, he starts by planting the seeds in small cartons which he places in a small fish tank by a kitchen window. He waters and makes sure they are receiving the right amount of light during the day. After a couple of weeks, when the seeds are sprouted, he transfers them outside. He has set up a sprinkler system which works on a timer and tends to the plants as needed to get the best results possible.
He has maintained the small garden for many years. Some years the plants do very well and have very good yields, and some years not all of the plants do as well. The type of seeds he selects every year varies.
He buys Park Seed products online and selects plant varieties that are bound to do better in our climate. He does not use the mail order exclusively. He also gets plants and seeds some from local nurseries and from local farmer’s markets. The picture below is from several weeks ago, probably before the rain, and the one that follows is from today.
What herbs or vegetables are you currently growing in your garden?
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