Introduction: Tomato Basil Soup

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This is a super-easy tomato basil soup!  It's best made with ripe, fresh heirloom tomatoes, and fresh basil. 

Just add some onion, garlic, salt & pepper, and cream (optional), and you'll quickly have a pot full of the best tomato soup you've ever eaten!  Pair with crusty bread or eat it in a bread bowl for super-lunch bonus points.

Step 1: Tools and Ingredients

3 medium onions, chopped
1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
~10 tomatoes (big juicy heirloom varieties* are best!)
~10 cloves garlic
~1 teaspoon salt
freshly ground pepper
handful fresh basil, chopped
1/4 - 1/2 cup heavy cream

large heavy-bottomed pot
cutting board
sharp chef's knife
wooden spoon

* I get my awesome heirloom tomatoes from Wild Boar Farms at my local farmers' market.  They sell seeds online if you want to grow your own!  Highly recommended.

Step 2: Saute Onions

Heat pot to medium-low heat, add butter or olive oil, add onions and salt, and saute until onions are soft and just starting to brown.

Step 3: Add Tomatoes

While onions are cooking, coarsely chop tomatoes.

Add them to the pot, and stir gently to mix.  Use tomato juice to deglaze the bottom of the pot if necessary.

Step 4: Add Garlic

Mince garlic, and add immediately after tomatoes.  Stir to incorporate.

Step 5: Simmer

Bring the soup to a simmer and maintain on low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes.  Tomatoes will soften, and the garlic will cook down.  You're ready for the next step when it looks like this.

Step 6: Add Basil

Coarsely chop and add the basil.  Stir to incorporate.  Turn off the stove.

You want to heat it just enough to wilt the basil, but no more, so be sure the other ingredients are sufficiently cooked before you add the basil.

Step 7: Add Cream

If you want to add cream to your soup, do so now.

Start with 1/4 cup of heavy cream, stir it in, then taste your soup.  Does it need more cream?  Then add more to your taste! 

The first picture below has cream added; the second picture does not.  I used roughly 1/4 cup cream, as I like mine very lightly creamy.

Step 8: Adjust Seasoning and Serve

Sample your soup, and add more salt and pepper to taste.  Add more cream if desired.

If you want an additional umami kick a bit of Worchestershire sauce can help, but it's not necessary if you use great tomatoes.

Serve warm if you've used cream, warm or cold if you haven't. 

- Great with a garnish of grated hard cheese or a grilled cheese sandwich.
- Fantastic in a bread bowl.
- Tastes even better the next day!