Across the country, lots of people are seeing "white" this weekend. Me, I learned two things, not bad for just coming off the holidays, eh?!
Our new glass-on-two-sides kitchen is a lovely during a snowstorm: warm and cozy inside, so white and windy outside, like being out in the middle of a snowstorm but warm and dry with a cup of hot cocoa in hand. Keep it comin,' Old Man Winter, today was a good day!
Yeah, yeah, I know, the basil came from a pricey plastic package. But even for a committed seasonal cook, to my taste Tomato Basil Soup is a winter soup not a summer soup. Usually, it's blended until smooth but I found the tomatoes and carrots and basil so pretty, I left it in its natural rustic state. What do you think, isn't it pretty?
And I'm smitten when a dish hints at what's inside. Left rustic, it’s obvious there are carrots in this tomato soup! Why? The sweetness of the carrots helps balance the acidity of the tomatoes, they really make a difference.
RECIPE for RUSTIC TOMATO BASIL SOUP
Time to table: 45 minutes
Makes 7 cups
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large carrots, trimmed, peeled and diced
1/2 an onion, trimmed, peeled and diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup fresh chopped basil
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 15-ounce cans diced tomatoes
2 cups V-8 vegetable juice or Campbell's tomato juice
Salt & white pepper to taste
In a large pot, heat olive oil until shimmery on medium high. Add carrots, onion, garlic as they're prepped, stirring to coat with fat with each addition. Stir in the basil and sugar, let cook, stirring often, until the carrots begin to take on a little color, this is really key to developing the flavor, don't hurry the process. Stir in the wine and cook for about five minutes, this cooks off much but not all of the alcohol. Stir in the tomatoes and vegetable juice. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce the temperature to maintain a slow simmer. Let simmer for 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt and white pepper.
ALANNA's TIPS & KITCHEN NOTES
I opted for two tablespoons of olive oil, double what I'd typically use. It just helps to help develop the flavors in the carrots and onions as they cook. It can be done with less oil, I do it all the time, you just have to use a lower heat and stir more often.
If you're going to leave the soup in its rustic, unblended state, take care with the size and shape of the carrot pieces.
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MORE TOMATO SOUP RECIPES
~ Two-Can Ten-Minute Homemade Tomato Soup ~
~ Slow-Roasted Tomato Soup ~
~ Peasant Cabbage-Tomato Soup ~
~ more soup recipes ~
from A Veggie Venture
~ Winter Tomato Soup ~
~ Summer's Tomato Soup ~
~ Master Recipe: How to Make Homemade Vegetable Soup ~
~ more soup recipes ~
from Kitchen Parade, my food column
famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.
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