Tomato Soup with Basil Oil
- SERVINGS: makes 6 cups
There's no better moment to make tomato soup than when tomatoes are perfectly ripe and plentiful. Even in the summer, Jacques Pépin likes this creamless soup best when it's served hot, with a drizzle of Basil Oil on top. It's also excellent served chilled and lean, without the butter enrichment. To transform the soup into a fresh tomato sauce, reduce the water that's added in the beginning to 1/2 cup.
- 1 tablespoon virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped (1 cup)
- 2 large garlic cloves, peeled
- 2 sprigs of thyme
- 1 sprig of oregano
- 2 pounds of ripe tomatoes, cut into 2-inch chunks (5 cups)
- 2 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 teaspoon sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 tablespoons Basil Oil
- Heat the olive oil in a large heavy saucepan. Add the onion, garlic, thyme and oregano and cook over moderate heat for 5 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, salt, pepper and 1 1/4 cups of water and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Pass the soup through the fine disk of a food mill.
- Rewarm the soup. Add the butter a little at a time, stirring between additions. Pour the soup into 4 soup plates or bowls and drizzle 1 tablespoon of the Basil Oil over each serving.
Tangy tomato pairs will with a chilled glass of a very dry Fino Sherry.