Monday, August 1, 2011

Roasted Tomato Soup with Pesto

It was quite an eventful weekend.  My husband turned 30 on Friday, one of my closest girlfriends had a baby  on Saturday, and my older sister got engaged yesterday!  Hooray!  Me... I was enjoying a lazy Sunday afternoon day and worked on my overdue wedding album which I haven't finished yet and this soup.  I'm trying to eat relatively light for the next couple weeks especially with our cruise coming up which means eating a lot of soups, salads, and whole grains.  However, I don't believe in diets and I don't believe that healthy good for you food has to be bland and boring.  This is such a light, tasty, nutritious soup.... you won't even notice that you are eating light because it is so flavorful.

Adapted from My Father's Daughter
Makes 4 servings

3 tbs extra virgin olive oil
2 large cloves of garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
2 fresh large basil leaves
2 14-ounce cans whole peeled tomatoes with their juice
16 pieces Slow-Roasted Tomatoes, roughly chopped
Coarse salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Heat the olive oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat.  Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.  Add the basil leaves, tomatoes and their juice, and 1 can's worth of water (swish it around both cans to get out all of the tomato goodness).  Bring to a boil, turn the heat to low, and simmer uncovered for 40 minutes.  Stir the slow-roasted tomatoes and turn off heat.  Using an immersion blender, puree the soup leaving a portion of the soup still chunky.  Season to taste with salt and pepper (about 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp of pepper should do).

To serve, there are a couple options you can do.  Drizzled a little basil pesto over the soup.  You can use this recipe without the Parmesan.  Or, tear fresh basil leaves and serve, drizzling each portion with your very best olive oil and a few extra grinds of black pepper.

San Marzano tomatoes are the best quality canned plum tomatoes.  They are not cheap so I try to stock up whenever I see them on sale at the grocery store.

These slow-roasted tomatoes are so versatile.  They also add such a nice sweetness to the soup without actually adding any sugar.

When I pureed the soup, the sugars from the slow-roasted tomatoes distribute throughout the soup so you get a little in each bite.  I left little chunks of tomato in the soup for texture.  Also, a little pesto goes a long way in terms of flavor and I love the pop of color.  You also have the option of serving it with fresh basil and good olive oil like I mentioned above.  This would go really good with a grilled cheese sandwich.  What a perfect combo.

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