Soupruary 1st: Tomato Basil (again)

Per tradition, we kicked off Soupruary 2013 with the easy-to-make yet delicious tomato basil soup.

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Last Soupruary we pulled off 29 nights of soup. This year we’re scaling back a bit and hoping that some of our friends can fill in for us. (It’s harder to make soup every night when you live in an undergrad dorm and have free dinner in the dining hall.)

For this soup, we had a good turn out, lots of wine, and a ridiculous amount of leftover crackers from Jamuary (which was less than a week before Soupruary 1st). It was a great way to kick off the month, attended by many Soupruary repeats but also some new friends. The soup itself deserves its place as the month’s kickoff soup every year. Again, we roughly doubled the recipe from what you see below and there was nothing left at the end of the night. Rich tomatoes, spice, garlic, and lots of basil. It’s just that good. Make it for yourself. You’ll be happy.

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Tomato basil recipe:
Adapted from Ina Garten

3 lbs plum tomatoes, halved
¼ c plus 2 T olive oil
1 T kosher salt
1 ½ t freshly ground black pepper
2 c chopped yellow onions
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 T unsalted butter
½ t crushed red pepper flakes
1 28-oz. can of plum tomatoes with their juice
4 c fresh basil leaves
1 t fresh thyme leaves
1 qt water

Toss the tomatoes with ¼ cup olive oil and the salt and pepper, then throw them in a 400 degree oven for 45 minutes.

In your soup pot over medium heat, sauté the onions, garlic and red pepper flakes in the butter and 2 T of olive oil until you get some color on your onions.

Add the canned tomatoes, basil, thyme, and water to the soup pot, then add your roasted tomatoes and all the liquid from the bottom of your roasting pan (there’s some good seasoning in there!). Bring it to a boil and let it simmer for 40 minutes.

Using an immersion blender, blend your soup to the desired consistency- I like mine somewhere between slightly chunky and fairly smooth.

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