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Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Fresh Summer Tomato & Basil Soup

We've had SO many wonderfully beautiful tomatoes lately, courtesy of our veggie CSA Heartbeet Organics. They grow all these amazing varieties.  This soup was just lovely, filled with plenty of fresh tomato taste.  You can even freeze leftovers, too! My friend Julie suggested freezing soups and broths in glass canning jars - leaving a bit of room at the top for expansion. Such a great idea, and it makes it easy to defrost soups or broths in your refrigerator, too!   I prefer tomato soup with fresh grilled cheese - here we used extra old cheddar from COWS (a PEI ice cream & cheese place) and some homemade white sourdough bread. Enjoy!
Beautiful tomatoes of all shapes, sizes and colours! 

Fresh summer tomato & basil soup, served with a hot grilled cheese. Yum! 

Fresh Summer Tomato & Basil Soup
Based on a recipe from Best Ever Comfort Food edited by Bridget Jones
Makes ~7 cups of soup

In a large pot, heat until bubbling:
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp butter

Add and cook until just softened,
1 medium to large onion, finely chopped

Stir in, letting cook 1 minute:
2 lbs ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
1-2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
Fresh tomatoes, garlic cloves & onions
3 1/2 cups chicken stock (or use Asian mushroom seasoning + water)
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1/4 - 1/2 tsp harissa paste *see below
salt & pepper

Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer 20 minutes.  Cover the pot halfway with your lid so you don't have too much evaporation.  

Remove from heat.  Add:
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves.

Puree the soup with a stick blender to desired consistency.

Add and stir in:
1/2 - 2/3 cup thick part of canned coconut milk (OR 1/2 - 2/3 cup heavy cream)

Taste & season with additional salt & pepper, adding a touch more harissa if you want a bit more spice.

Serve hot with fresh ground pepper & grilled cheese sandwiches! Enjoy!

*A bit more about Harissa: This amount will add just a touch of depth to the taste, but not spiciness - add a bit more if you want more spice. Harissa is a hot chili paste that incorporate a few others spices as well. It tends to come in small containers, like a small jar.  If you don't have harissa, you can add a small pinch of cayenne powder, or 

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