Comfort Food Part 1: Tomato Basil Soup


There are few things better than a big bowl of home made tomato soup on a crisp fall or winter afternoon.  Paired with a grilled cheese sandwich, or cheese crostini, it becomes even better!  This tomato soup is perfect for your Sunday Brunch, or a lazy Saturday afternoon. Enjoy!

As the key ingredient here is tomatoes, buy the best quality tomatoes you can find.  Your first choice will be fresh organic Roma tomatoes bought at your local farmer's market, and your second will be organic Roma tomatoes from your local supermarket. The more fresh, and ripe the tomatoes are, the more delicious the soup will be.

  • 10 Roma tomatoes
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves fresh garlic, finely diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon white granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 cube bouillon, chicken or vegetable
  • 6 fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

First, you will prepare the tomatoes:  Bring 6 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan.  Cut an "x" on one end of each tomato and place in boiling water. Boil for approximately 5-7 minutes. You will see the tomato skin begin to peel away from the tomatoes.  Drain water and set aside.

Heat olive oil and butter in a saucepan.  Add diced onion and sautee on medium heat until onions have softened,  approximately 8 minutes.  Add diced garlic.  Meanwhile, peel the skins from the tomatoes and place in pot.  Mash with a potato masher.  Add 6 cups of water, paprika, bay leaf, sugar, basil, cayenne pepper and bouillon cube.  Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to medium low.

Cover with lid and simmer for approximately 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes, blend soup using a hand or standing blender.  Season to taste with salt and pepper, and a couple dashes of hot sauce, if you wish.

Serve with grilled cheese or just your favorite cheese melted atop a fresh French Baguette

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