Yesterday I had the most amazing tomato basil soup! My little basil plant has been tempting me with big beautiful leaves since a few days. But I refrained from plucking them because I wanted to grow it further. Yesterday when I was pruning the plants I saw a large number of little leaves coming from below, so I realised it was time to enjoy the freshest basil I will ever have! And this is the first time I have such large leaves in my plant.
I gave some to my French neighbour. She was so happy, said “I’m just gonna make a tomato basil salad and enjoy the beautiful aroma and flavour of these.” That gave me the idea of making some fresh tomato basil soup. I just wish my tomato plant had some ripe tomatoes as well! Alas I have to wait for them to bloom! Now I have made Indian style tomato curry soup, combining tomato with coriander, curry leaves and roasted capsicum, a lot of times, but I had never tried the all-time favourite combination of tomato and basil soup. This is a very simple recipe and the milk and cheese (which were a surprise element for me) make the soup very thick, creamy and oh! so tasty. All I wanted to do was lick down the bowl to its last drop! And that’s what actually happened. The bowl looked exactly the same after the soup was finished as it looked before it had any soup in it! 😛 (Not good manners to lick down the bowl and not recommended in front of children.. but well who cares when you are on your own and don’t want even a drop to go waste.)
Creamy Tomato-Basil soup
By Ashima Goyal Siraj
Prep time: | Cook time: | Serves: 2
6 tomatoes, blanched and pureed
1 onion, chopped (I used white onion)
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
5-6 leaves of fresh sweet basil (as you can see in the pic, I had big basil leaves. If you have smaller leaves, take more)
1/4th cup regular cream cheese, cut into small cubes
1 cup low fat milk
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups water
2 tbsps olive oil
For the bread
One small Baguette, sliced
A little butter
2 tbsps grated mozzarella cheese
- Blanch and puree the tomatoes. For the soup, I added a few sprigs of rosemary in the water while blanching the tomatoes.
- In a deep pan, heat oil. Add onions and sauté for 3-4 minutes.
- Add garlic, cook for a couple of minutes and then add the tomatoes and chopped basil leaves.
- Add 2 cups of water. I used the same water that I used for blanching.
- Bring the mixture to a boil. Add cheese and stir the mixture until the cheese is melted.
- Remove from heat and using a blender, blend the mixture until smooth. I really love my stick blender for soups! Makes it so easy… no need to transfer to a blender and transfer again to the pan.
- Return the soup to heat. Stir in milk, salt and pepper. Cook until a boil. Meanwhile preheat oven to 180C.
- For the bread – lightly coat bread with butter and place in oven for 2 minutes. Remove turn them over, top with grated cheese and return to oven for another couple of minutes till the cheese is slightly melted.
- Dip into the soup and enjoy.