Recipes: Tiffany’s Mom’s Tomato Basil Soup

 Tomato basil soup.

Flickr Photo Credit: Intrepidation

My neighbor in Arizona and her mother used to make this soup and it was absolutely “to die for”. What I like about it is that it’s really a very “grown up” sort of recipe rather than the basic tomato bisque  you might normally serve for a children’s lunch (although that’s yummy too).

What you need:

3 cloves garlic, 1 1/2 cups fresh basil, 2 tbsp olive oil, 4 pounds very ripe tomatoes (or 2 large cans of crushed tomatoes), 1 tsp sugar, 1/2 onion (diced), 2 tbsp each chopped parsley and cilantro, 2 cups chicken broth, 1 stalk diced celery , salt and pepper to taste. The following seasonings are listed as optional: papa dash, adobo paste, lemon grass, lemon juice, cumin and vege-sal.

What you do:

Blend the garlic, basil and olive oil. Add to the tomatoes and simmer with the sugar, onion, celery, parsley and cilantro for about half an hour or until tomatoes have been reduced to 3/4 of their original volume. Add chicken broth and adjust seasoning to taste. Serve hot or cold and sprinkle with soup garnishes such as fresh chopped basil or Parmesan cheese. This stuff is super yummy and fairly elegant to boot.

I would feel comfortable serving this at ladies’ brunch or late afternoon dinner party with gourmet sourdough grilled cheese sandwiches and a crisp salad. Here are some other pairing ideas for sandwiches you might enjoy with the soup.

Editor’s Note: If you are entertaining vegans, you could substitute veggie stock for the chicken stock and pair the soup with something from this list of vegan sandwiches.