When it comes to comfort food, tomato soup definitely hits all the right spots. Call it the ultimate kid food, but the mild, sweet taste of tomatoes is inviting and incredibly soothing.
All sorts of memories come to mind with tomato soup. On rainy or snowy days warming tomato soup will take away any chill. Of course, the natural accompaniment would have to be a good ole grilled cheese sandwich. What’s not to love about dipping a gooey toasted American cheese sandwich into a steamy cup of tomato soup?
Recently, I made a big pot of soup for an event that would have to hold for 2 to 3 hours. Of course the Joy of Cooking has the right idea. Make a tomato base and add a white sauce for serious holding power. It worked like a charm. It did not break down and stayed thick and creamy for the duration.
So if you are looking for a little comfort food, this one is for you!
P.S. Coming up: a no-recipe-required grilled cheese sandwich as a bonus for anyone who needs one.
Tomato Soup with Basil Oil
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ onion, chop
1 carrot, chop
2 cloves garlic, mince
½ teaspoon dried basil
28 oz. canned crushed San Marzano tomatoes
3 cups or more chicken, vegetable stock or water, divided
1 teaspoon lemon juice
¾ teaspoon salt, pepper
3 tablespoons butter
2-3 tablespoons flour
1-1/2 cup liquid (1 cup stock, 1/2 cup evaporated milk)
salt, white pepper, nutmeg to taste
Accompaniments: grated Parmesan cheese, fresh basil or Basil Oil Drizzle,
1. Sauté the oil, onion, carrot, garlic and basil until soft. Add the tomatoes and simmer 20 minutes, thinning as needed with about 1 cup stock or water. Adjust seasoning with lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
2. Meanwhile, make White Sauce: in sauce pan, melt butter over low heat. Add flour and blend 3-4 minutes until cooked and smooth. Slowly whisk in 1 cup stock to eliminate lumps. Stir and simmer until thick and smooth. Add the condensed milk to the tomatoes and heat well. Season with salt, nutmeg and white pepper.
3. Puree the tomato base in blender or with an immersion blender, thin as needed with more stock or water and return to pot. Strain the white sauce into hot soup and heat well. Simmer on low heat for 5 to 10 minutes to blend flavors. Adjust seasoning. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese, fresh basil or a drizzle of Basil Oil. Serves 8.
1 cup basil leaves
3-4 cups boiling water
cold water bath
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
Blanch the leaves in boiling water for 10 seconds. Remove to cold water bath with slotted spoon. Remove and blot, squeeze out water. Blend with olive oil and season with salt to taste, strain if desired. Store in fridge. Yield: 1/2 cup.