Thursday, February 18, 2010

Tomato and Fresh Basil Soup

Serves: 4

Olive oil - 1 tbsp
Butter - 2 tbsp
Onion - 1 medium, finely chopped
Plum tomatoes - 2 lbs, roughly chopped
Garlic clove - 1, roughly chopped
Vegetable stock - about 3 cups
Sun-dried tomato paste - 2 tbsp
Fresh basil - 2 tbsp, shredded
Heavy cream - 2/3 cup
Salt - to taste
Pepper - to taste
Whole basil leaves - to garnish

1. Heat the oil and butter in a large saucepan until foaming. Add the onion and cook gently for about 5 min, stirring, until the onion is softened but not brown.
2. Stir in the garlic and tomatoes, then add the stock, sun-dried tomato paste, salt and pepper to taste. Bring it to boil, then lower the heat, half-cover the pan, and simmer gently for 20 min, stirring occasionally to keep the tomatoes sticking to the bottom of the pan.
3. Process the soup with the shredded basil in a blender or food processor, then press through a sifter into a clean pan.
4. Add the cream and heat through, stirring. Do not allow the soup to approach boiling point.
5. Check the consistency and add more stock if necessary., then season with salt and pepper.

Pour into heated bowls and garnish with basil. Serve at once.

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