Fresh Summer Tomato Soup with Fresh Basil

The tomatoes are so ripe and delicious this season and I always look foreword to making a fresh kettle of tomato with basil soup.  So today I have brought a kettle of water to boil and placed tomatoes in the boiling water for 1 minute then plunged them into a big bowl of ice water and slipped their skins.  After coring each one I cut them into sections and with my thumb pushed out all of the seeds placing only the remaining flesh into my 4 quart measure until full to the top!

Next I went outdoors and picked a nice bunch of basil and brought it into the kitchen and rinsed the leaves well as I pulled them from their stems.  I picked enough to make 2-3 tablespoons after slicing.

Ingredients for Fresh Summer Tomato Soup with Basil:

4 C. fresh tomato, peeled, seeded, and chunk-ed
2-3 fresh shallots sliced thin
2 cloves fresh garlic chopped finely
2-3 T. fresh basil leaves sliced thin
2 T. olive oil
2 T. butter
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
2 T. tomato paste
1 T. sugar
1/2 t, baking soda (keeps the soup from curdling when the cream is added)
2 C. chicken stock
1-1 1/2 C. heavy cream or milk
6-8 slices crisp cooked bacon as garnish, optional

After harvesting and preparing the tomatoes and basil set them aside.  Place the butter and olive oil in a heavy bottomed non-reactive kettle over medium heat.  Add the shallots and sweat for a minute and add the garlic, tomatoes, tomato paste, basil, salt, pepper, baking soda, sugar, and stock. Simmer over low heat for 20-30 minutes until the tomatoes are very soft.

You can leave on simmer until just before serving of complete the recipe by adding the cream and pureeing in the blender or using an immersion blender.  Taste and correct the seasoning.  Serve with a couple of slices of crisp bacon as garnish if desired.  Yield 6 servings.

Optional step:

Note:  If you would like the soup thickened mix together in a small bowl with your fingers 2 T. butter and 4 T. flour until all of the flour is absorbed into the butter and is a thick paste consistency.  Whisk into the hot soup until completely melted and smooth and the soup has thickened.

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