Tomato Basil Soup from Together at the Table

Tip with this soup – not surprisingly, it’s all about the tomatoes! I use imported Italian San Marzano tomatoes – they’re the most consistent, and the acidity is really balanced. They’re easily found in the canned tomato section of most well-stocked grocery stores. If you taste your soup and find it too acidic, add a bit of flour (1-2 tablespoons) and some extra brown sugar to temper it. This soup also freezes beautifully! I made it recently and snapped a couple pics. Hillary Manton Lodge

2 (28-ounce) cans whole tomatoes
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
4 tablespoons butter
4 large shallots, chopped fine
1 tablespoon tomato paste
Pinch ground allspice
1 3/4 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup cream

½ cup fresh basil, chopped fine, plus more for garnish

Salt and cracked black pepper to taste

Grated parmesan, to serve

 

  1. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with two layers of aluminum foil (one heavy duty layer is fine).

  2. Place a fine-mesh strainer over a large bowl. Pour contents of the first tomato can over the strainer carefully, holding back tomatoes with a spoon or spatula. Press juices through with the back of a spoon, if necessary.

  3. With your hands, carefully open each tomato and push the seeds out and into the strainer. Alternately, you can use a tomato corer/ strawberry huller tool to scrape the seeds out. Place each seeded tomato onto the baking sheet in a single layer. Discard the seeds as necessary.

  4. Place your oven rack in the second to topmost position, and preheat to 450°F before repeating the process with the second can of tomatoes. Sprinkle the brown sugar over the tomatoes. Bake until the tomatoes have grown dark red in color, about 20-30 minutes. Allow them to cool a bit, and then scraped them from the foil and into a bowl.

  5. Melt butter over medium heat in a large saucepan or soup pot. Add the minced shallots, tomato paste, and allspice. Sprinkle a bit of salt over the top and reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8-10 minutes.

  6. Whisk in chicken stock, followed by the tomato juices and roasted tomatoes. Increase heat to medium and bring to a simmer, and then simmer on low for about 10 minutes.

  7. Remove soup from heat. Puree soup in batches, or use an immersion blender, blending until smooth. Add the cream and basil, taste, and adjust seasonings to taste. Rewarm if necessary. Serve with lots of Parmesan cheese.

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