Of soup; the Cornerstone of Tomato Basil Soup | Pictures | Food Newsie

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Of soup; the Cornerstone of Tomato Basil Soup


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Of soup; the Cornerstone of Tomato Basil Soup

There are two reasons to be happy about food: One is that it can be really delicious, and; two, is that it can be really easy to make. This soup is the reason to be happy about food. When you begin making tomato soup, you realize you’ve arrived at one of the steering columns or cornerstones of more complicated foods and meals that you can make later. Really! At its most basic, this soup could introduce the new kitchen tinker to different techniques and widen their vocabulary when it comes to amending recipes on the fly and making tasty decisions. But before all that, how did this author who has been soup-averse for so long, come to bestow such lavish praise on tomato soup?

Of soup; the Cornerstone of Tomato Basil Soup

On returning from the hospital where this came to mind, the first iterations were delivered as quickly as possible with added proteins and cheese joy.

We begin near the beginning. At a hospital where The Little Nipper came to be (photos of him on Facebook), the Nutritionist and I were served bland foods up until the day bowls of tomato basil soup came. After our release, we and our new baby burrito, still swaddled in hospital blankets and looking a lot like me and little like Yoda, got home and craved a first meal. Famously for us, it was an iteration of that tomato basil soup. Some recipes focused on elaborate preparations, others on hideously long shopping lists. After some examination, the soup was all pared down to four things and one simple process.

Of soup; the Cornerstone of Tomato Basil Soup

This is one soup that won't set you back too far. The ingredients list is essentially four items and with quantities that can be changed almost instantly with little harm to the finished product, it's probably the most open soup-canvas imaginable for garnishes and extra ingredients to go up against.

Heavy cream, butter, tomato and basil. The balance of each has changed for the sake of taste and experimentation, but quite simply, One Cup, Half a Cup, a Can (29oz in most cases) and two Tablespoons respectively, has been the starting point for most changes. There are two entrenched schools of preference here to the say the least: The first preference is the soup without chunks of tomato, the second, with. Other considerations cut the Heavy Cream to Half a Cup and more recently, two Cans have been used to stretch the life of leftovers.

Of soup; the Cornerstone of Tomato Basil Soup

Other than your own dignity, there's little reason to be gentle when adding the ingredients all together. A heavy-handed kitchen tinker would be hard pressed to foul this soup by mistreating ingredients. We tried just for fun and also to see how forgiving the process was: It's quite.

The process attempts to bring out the best features of the tomatoes. Get the tomatoes into a soup pot by themselves and let them simmer strongly for a half-hour stirring regularly. After a half-hour, feel free to toss the rest in. There’s no need for grace. The brilliance of this soup for the new chef is that once you desire more subtle changes or more delicate ingredients, the approach changes toward the method. Adding onions would see them sauteed first; leaving chunks of tomato would find the chef learning how to reserve portions were one to use an immersion blender to pull the ingredients together; time management is improved by the chef who uses less Heavy Cream for chunky soup – it is then served from the pot – and then more Heavy Cream for smoother soup where preparation is then completed in about a minute in the same pot: Multiple soups, one pot, less mess, hardly any additional wait time. That’s a lot of learning and easy working from just one soup.

There is an unrivaled health benefit from hot tomato soup owing to tomatoes themselves. Lycopene. It’s an antioxidant known to prevent and battle many baddies in the body. I asked myself why almost all tomato basil soup recipes had the tomatoes on a light boil for a half hour. Prolonged heat is a catalyst to bind and work lycopene into a frenzy of existence. Except there’s a problem… Tomatoes plus prolonged heat does enhance and create lycopene, yes, but different scientists have found the ideal heat to be between 190 and 240-degrees Fahrenheit sustained for nearly an hour! Much less heat for much less time can’t be bad, but don’t be convinced by anyone that soup is now delivering a maximum of potential Lycopene – truth is, Lycopene creation is still widely accepted by scientists to be magic, inside your body. This soup is feeding your body what it needs, but not delivering the finished product of all the Lycopene it will eventually benefit from.

What will eventually inspire new cooking techniques and considerations for the new chef is the wide array of additions that can be made to Tomato Basil soup. Chicken Meatballs, Buffalo Mozzarella, Sour Cream toppings, shredded raw Basil leaves, more tomato chunks, onions and so much more have come into play. If ever there was a building block for the foundation of good food and cooking, this soup is it! So if you’re just starting out, begin at the beginning: One Cup Heavy Cream, Half a Cup of Butter, One Can Tomato (pureed, diced, etc) and Two Tablespoons of Basil chopped or from a tube (stronger flavor there). Simmer Tomatoes heavily for a half-hour and the rest is as complicated as you want – or not!

Of soup; the Cornerstone of Tomato Basil Soup

With toasted bread cut and served along side, this soup can please nearly anyone if not on the first try, then easily on the second since changes are a breeze to make. Adjusting this recipe to differing requests requires so little brain-power that this might be considered a versatile base for your later kitchen genius. Consider it!

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