Creamy Tomato/Basil Soup with a Twist
Andy Anderson !
This soup is homemade, and even if you use fresh tomatoes, you can have it on the table in 30 minutes. The two twists in the recipe are the use of buttermilk (which is not all that unusual), and some baking soda. But I’ll talk more about that in the recipe.
The addition of the cayenne pepper adds a bit of a kick. I find myself adding more when the weather is cold, and less as the weather warms up.
So, you ready for some soup… Let’s get into the kitchen.
2 Tbspolive oil, extra virgin
4 clovegarlic, minced
1 mediumyellow onion, diced
3 1/2 lbgarden fresh, blanched, and peeled tomatoes, or canned… more on that later
1/4 tspbaking soda
1 cfresh chicken stock: Hearty Chicken Stock ala CIA
2 Tbspsugar, granulated, table variety
1/4 chalf & half
8 mediumbasil leaves, chiffonade
1/2 tspdried oregano
1/8 tspcayenne pepper, or more, if you're adventurous
·kosher salt, to taste
·freshly ground black pepper, to taste
How to Make Creamy Tomato/Basil Soup with a Twist
- In a dutch oven, or cast iron pot (I love cast iron), heat olive oil over medium-high heat.
- Add the minced garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds, or until fragrant.
- Add the peeled tomatoes (along with any juices), plus the chicken stock, baking soda and sugar.
- Chef’s Tip: What’s with the baking soda. Tomatoes are acidic, and baking soda lowers acidic levels… by adding a bit of it to the soup, it smoothes out the flavors, and creates a more mellow flavor.
When I’m making tomato dishes, I will taste the tomatoes before adding them to the dish, and if they taste more acid, I will add a bit more baking soda, but the amount in this recipe is a good place to start.
- Chef’s Note: I am well aware that not all seasons are favorable to garden fresh tomatoes. If canned is the way you need to go, then let me recommend my absolute favorite canned tomatoes for this recipe: Cento: San Marzano Certified Peeled Tomatoes. They are not the cheapest canned tomatoes on the market, but when it comes to this soup, I can’t tell the difference between fresh and these. Oh, 3.5 pounds of fresh tomatoes would translate to two 28 ounce cans of tomatoes.
- Add the half & half, buttermilk, basil, and oregano to the mix and blend until smooth.
- Stop and taste… then season with salt and pepper.
- Blend, season, and taste… Blend, season, and taste, until you like what you taste.
- Return the blended soup to the pot, and simmer for an additional 10 minutes.