This Basil Roasted Tomato Soup Recipe features a flavorful combination of roasted tomatoes and fresh basil. Minced garlic and red pepper flakes are sautéed in butter then blended with the roasted tomatoes, onions, and fresh leaves of basil and thyme in a soothing chicken stock.
Be sure to take a few moments to breathe in the wonderful fragrance of the basil as you prepare the leaves for this soup.
Imagine freshly gathered herbs strewn about your castle floors.
Throughout the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, herbs were scattered about the floors of homes to add fragrance and to keep these surfaces “clean” of untoward things. Basil was one the herbs considered to be essential for strewing.
And if you were a royal living in a castle, your aromatic carpet could have been placed there by a full-time staff member known as the Royal Herb Strewer.
This official position was created by King James II in the seventeenth century. The strewer was responsible for collecting, strewing, and later removing the spent herbs, ready to begin the process all over again.
But more than just adding fragrance, the presence of these aromatic beauties must have also brightened the rooms and lifted the spirits of those within.
You may be interested in taking a virtual tour of the National Herb Garden located at the U.S. National Arboretum in Washington, D.C.
This beautiful garden containing hundreds of species and cultivars of herbs was a gift from The Herb Society of America to the American people.
Slide #23 contains a photo of the Basil Collection, a grouping of several plants all belonging to the basil family.
2 pounds fresh red Roma tomatoes, rinsed and sliced in half from end to end
2 medium yellow onions, peeled and quartered
3 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
1/4 cup dry sherry
3 tablespoons butter
4 cloves of fresh garlic, peeled and minced
1/8 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
15 oz. can crushed tomatoes
3/4 teaspoon fresh thyme, leaves only
3 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves, left whole
Shredded mozzarella cheese for garnish
1. Preheat oven: 375°F
2. Place tomatoes and onions in a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Stir to coat.
3. Evenly layer tomatoes and onions in a 9x13 baking dish. Cover with foil.
4. Roast tomatoes and onions for 40 minutes or until vegetables are nicely browned around some of the edges.
5. Transfer tomatoes and onions to large bowl.
Deglaze: Add 1/4 cup sherry to baking dish, stirring with a wooden spoon to loosen flavorful bits remaining on the bottom.
6. Sauté: In a 6-quart Dutch oven add 3 tablespoons butter, melt over medium low heat. Add minced garlic and dried red pepper. Sauté for about 1 minute.
7. Add the roasted tomatoes, onions, and sherry mixture.
8. Add the canned tomatoes, chicken stock, thyme leaves and basil.
9. Simmer: Bring to a boil and immediately reduce heat; simmer uncovered for 35 minutes.
10. Purée: Remove from heat. Using an immersion blender, purée to desired consistency.
11. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
12. Garnish: Ladle into bowls and garnish with shredded mozzarella cheese.
For more delicious and nutritious soup ideas, give some of these happiness makers a try...
Allen, Gary. "The Usual Suspects." In Herbs: A Global History. n.d.
"Basil: An Herb Society of America Guide." Herb History, Education, and Use: The Herb Society of America. Accessed February 12, 2016. http://www.herbsociety.org/factsheets/Basil%20Guide.pdf.
DeBaggio, Thomas, and Susan Belsinger. "History, Lore, and Uses." In Basil: An Herb Lover's Guide, 12-27. Loveland, Colo., USA: Interweave Press, 1996.