I just need a few moments to squeal about how my vegetable garden is doing. I can see the shoots! We have spinach poking through, beans and cucumbers! The tomato plants are starting to flower, the carrots which I thought were lost have steadily begun to poke their way up in between the radishes. The radishes are ready! I pulled the first one last week and it was wonderful!
The tomatoes in this recipe are sadly not from my garden, but they could be in just a few short months! I bought tomatoes from the farmers market instead, delicious heirloom tomatoes that had been grown in a glasshouse. The basil is from my very own window ledge where it is growing nicely in an earthenware water jug, the basil that is outside is not doing so well but I’m hoping it will begin to perk up a little soon.
I had also bought carrots, and was intending to make this carrot soup recipe from the stone soup blog. But I felt like having tomato instead, I will be making this one later in the week.
I looked around briefly online for tomato soup recipes and honestly they all looked either too complicated (I don’t like recipes with too much needless faffing around, really who has the time?) or just a little bit rubbish. So I threw this together instead, being very proud of myself until a friend pointed out that it was pretty much a bloody mary without vodka. Well it still tasted wonderful, I ate it warm for dinner with lightly grilled bread and then had some cold for supper. Honestly just as good cold as it was hot, which is pretty perfect when the weather is so lovely.
My husband is a big fan of soup, sadly he didn’t get to have any as he’s currently away working in Poland. He is under strict instruction to return with pretty Polish pottery, in return he will receive soup. Sounds like a fair deal to me.
Fresh Tomato and Basil Soup
Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a soup pot and lightly saute 4 or 5 chopped tomatoes, 2 finely chopped cloves of garlic and a few thin slices of onion for a few minutes, or until the onion and garlic begin to soften. Feel free to mash the ingredients a little while cooking if you’d like a less lumpy texture but personally I quite like lumpy, broth-like soups and I wanted to avoid using the blender.
Add a few chopped fresh basil leaves and a cup of vegetable broth, some freshly ground black pepper and a little sea salt. If you are using regular (not low sodium) broth from a can, taste before adding salt as it may have enough already. Ideally I’d recommend using low sodium or homemade broth.
Bring the soup slowly to the boil, give it a stir, put on the lid and reduce the heat to a simmer. Leave to simmer for about 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes, taste the soup and add more salt and pepper if needed. Add a few drops of Tabasco sauce, tasting as you go, until you get the flavour you want. I find that of all things, soup needs to be continually tasted throughout the cooking process to make sure it’s turning out right.
Leave the soup to sit with the lid off and heat still at a low simmer while you lightly brush a few slices of fresh bread with olive oil and lightly grill them. You can do this outside if so inclined, or inside in a stovetop grill pan.
When the bread is done, spoon the soup into bowls and serve with the bread. You can add a dollop of creme fraiche to the soup if you’re feeling particularly extravagant.