Let me say this right up front-this is not diet food, but it’s really delectable and an end of summer treat. I just realized that I better hurry up and post this as even here in southern California there’s a little nip in the air and the glorious summer tomatoes will soon be a thing of the past.
This soup is just the right combination of ripe tomatoes, fresh basil, a hint of clove and crispy croutons. Don’t even think of trying to figure out how many calories are involved!
Tomato Soup with Basil
10 ripe tomatoes
6 slices day old country bread sliced 1/4″ thick, crusts removed
2 garlic cloves
1 mild onion, peeled and cut in half
10 basil leaves, shredded
1/2 bay leaf
3 whole cloves
2 cups heavy cream
Salt & pepper
2 tablespoons butter
Peel tomatoes by marking an x with a knife on the bottom of each tomato and drop into boiling water until the skin splits. Remove and place in a bowl of ice water. Slip off skins and discard. Seed 3 of the tomatoes and cut into a small dice. Slice the other tomatoes into large chunks, place them in a food processor and puree. Pour puree into a strainer set over a bowl and set aside.
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Cut one of the garlic cloves in half and rub the bread slices with the garlic. Cut the slices into 1/4″ cubes and place on a baking sheet and put in oven for about 10-12 minutes, until crisp.
Pour the pureed tomato into a saucepan. Add the cloves, onion, bay leaf, and one garlic clove. Bring to a boil and and let cook over medium heat, uncovered for about 10 minutes. Remove and discard the bay leaf, garlic, onion and cloves.
Add the cream to the tomato liquid and bring this to a boil, whisking. Salt and pepper the soup, remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the butter. Place the soup in the food processor and process to emulsify. Pour it back into the pan, add the diced tomato , shredded basil and simmer for 5 minutes.
Ladle into shallow bowls or cups and top with croutons. Serves 6.