Thursday, December 2, 2010

Tomato Basil Soup

This warm and hearty tomato basil soup is creamy and full of flavours but low in calories and super easy to make. It is also vegan and hypoallergenic, containing only canned tomato, basil, salt, pepper, garlic, olive oil.

Why canned tomato instead of fresh ones? In the winter, tomatoes in markets through out Vancouver are imported, and they tend to be more blend and not fresh, because they are not grown in their best season.  Canned tomatoes, especially the whole ones, are canned when tomatoes are the most ripe and delicious; tomatoes' own acidity keep them that way in the can.  However, in the autumn, i would make these out of fresh tomatoes, with a different recipes.

For this recipes, you will need a blender or a hand-held blender, to emulsify the olive oil into the soup.  To emulsify is to blend or whip the soup at high speed while slowly drizzle the olive oil in.  The result is a deliciously creamy soup without the cream!

(serves 2)
1 large canned whole tomato (796ml)
2 tbsp garlic and herb infused olive oil
3-4 large basil leaves
salt and pepper

1. Pour the entire content of the canned tomato into a pot
2. Use your hand to squeeze and gently break the tomatoes.  Do this while the tomatoes are submerged in the liquid, so they do not spit juice everywhere. Hands are the best and most gentle way to break the tomatoes.
3. Put basil into the pot and heat on low heat for 30 minutes or until the liquid thickens. (about ⅓ of the liquid should be reduced)
4. Remove from heat, blend the soup in a blender or with a hand-held blender.  With the blender on, slowly drizzle the olive oil in to emulsify it.
5. Taste and season according to your preference.

You can also add additional spices and herbs at the end.  The soup is acidic, so sweet or bitter spices are the best. I like a little bit of cayenne, cumin, and nutmegs.

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