There’s nothing better than fresh summer tomatoes, especially from your own garden! The only problem is that they all seem to ripen at the same time. That’s when we pull out our recipe for Fresh Tomato Basil Soup. Served with crusty bread and some cheese, this is one of our favorite summertime meals.
Even if you don’t have a garden, you should be able purchase delicious, vine-ripened tomatoes at the farmers markets and grocery stores during the summer months. And, once you have the tomatoes, you can whip this up in less than 45 minutes. We typically take the easy way out and chop the tomatoes – skins, seeds and all. However, if you want the soup to be smoother, you’ll need to blanch, peel and deseed them.
For convenience and fewer dishes to wash, we use our immersion stick blender and purée the soup right in the saucepan. Of course, you can use a regular blender too. Just let the soup cool somewhat, then blend a few cups at a time. Remove the center portion of the blender top and cover with a folded up dish towel. Hold the towel firmly in place with one hand as you turn on the blender with the other, to prevent the pressure from blowing off the top. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a mess to clean off the walls and nothing left to eat!
If you don’t have a blender don’t worry. The soup is just as wonderful served chunky. Take a look at the variations for more ideas. And, if you don’t want to make quite as much soup as the recipe calls for, just cut the recipe in half. We usually see how many tomatoes we have and then decide if we want to make the full recipe or not.