Ever since childhood my favorite soup has been Tomato Soup. In restaurants, I would order it even without looking at the menu (in India, almost every restaurant menu had it). Even now, given an option be it my office cafeteria or for a lunch/brunch buffet at any restaurant I always tend to pick Tomato soup. There are so many varieties - plain tomato soup, cream of tomato, chunky tomato soup this list is never ending. But lately, I have been a huge fan of the Tomato Basil soup. Since this will be the first soup recipe on ShwetaintheKitchen I wanted to start with my favorite.
How do you like your soup thick or thin & liquidy?? I prefer it Thick. It just so much more satiating. And did I mention this one is without any cream or butter so even more healthier. Its a great snack or perfect for light dinner when accompanied with a salad.
9-10 medium sized tomatoes
Small bunch of fresh basil leaves
1 medium sized onion finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic roughly chopped
1 bay leaf
4 tbsp of thick tomato paste (or 1/2 cup of tomato puree)
1 tbsp of tomato ketchup
1 tbsp of brown sugar (or regular sugar)
2 tsp of red chili powder (or to taste)
salt & pepper to taste
1 tbsp of oil for cooking
Step 1: Blanch the tomatoes:
- Heat water in a large vessel & once its starts boiling add the tomatoes to it. Boil on high for 5 mins or till you see the tomato skin cracking.
- Drain & add to ice-cold water.
- Once they come to a temperature you can handle peel the skin (which is very easy at this point) & chop roughly. Keep aside.
Tips: Try picking red & ripe tomatoes for the soup. This will help to give a great color.
Step 2: For Soup :
- Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a pan & once hot add the bay leaf. Immediately add the chopped garlic. Saute for a min & then add the onions & saute till the onions turn light brown.
- Now add the blanched & chopped tomatoes & cook on high flame for 5 mins.
- Lower the flame to medium & add the tomato paste/puree, tomato ketchup followed by salt & pepper to taste.
- Add 2 cups of water & roughly chopped basil leaves. Simmer.
- To cut the sourness from the tomato add sugar. To add some spice add some red chili powder & mix well. Cover & simmer for 10 -15 mins. Frankly the soup is ready now if you like it chunky but to give it a smooth texture blend it in a mixer.
- Switch off the gas & allow this to cool. Once it reaches room temperature remove the bay leaf & blend everything to a smooth puree in mixer. If you have a hand blender you can use it directly in the cooking vessel without having to wait for the soup to cool (carefully as it may splutter).
- If you like the consistency to be thin then strain it. Else just heat the pureed soup & serve.
That's it, our Rich & thick Tomato Basil soup is ready. Serve it hot garnished with cream & basil leaves.