Well, maybe just a taste if you ask nicely.
So, technically it’s not soup season yet…but rules are meant to be broken, right? We are starting to get those first chilly mornings that are the true sign that fall is on the way. I can’t believe Monday is September! Summer is officially over. That does make me a little sad…because once it gets to be fall that means winter is close behind. I do love fall though! The food, the smells, the leaves, the pumpkins. Hooray!
On to the soup! About three years ago, Eric bought me a big book of pasta recipes. I wasn’t as big into cooking back then and looking through the book intimidated me like no other. Everything seemed to be way over my head! I put it in my cookbook drawer and basically forgot about it. In doing some kitchen cleaning/reorganizing this week (no computer = must be productive during the day), I hauled out the book again and started flipping through it.
Since I’m much more confident in my abilities these days, I immediately bookmarked a whole bunch of stuff in the book. I’m looking forward to trying more! Kinda funny that the book was a gift from Eric and I’m sure his intention was that he would benefit from me having it. As it turns out, the first thing I try from it was something that I knew he wouldn’t care for on a night he wouldn’t be home for dinner because of class! LOL!
I loved that this tomato soup recipe used all fresh ingredients. It is tomato season, of course, so this was the perfect way to usher in the fall. The fresh flavor was great. Be sure to season liberally with salt and pepper. I thought it was slightly bland the first time around, so I seasoned up my leftovers a bit more and after chilling overnight and reheating, it was FANTASTIC! Yum! I always go easy on the salt. Too easy. There have been too many a-meal ruined in this house because of too much salt. So I blame myself, not the recipe, for the slight blandness the first time around. You could probably also add additional garlic and maybe some crushed red pepper to punch up the flavor a bit.
TOMATO SOUP WITH PASTA AND BASIL (Recipe Source: The Essential Pasta Cookbook)
- 3 large, very ripe tomatoes
- 2 tbs. olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 small red pepper, finely chopped
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
- 1 cup shell pasta or macaroni
- Additional basil leaves and parm cheese for garnish
- Score a small cross in the top of each tomato. Plunge into boiling water for 1-2 minutes, then into cold water. Peel skin down from the cross and discard. Remove the seeds and roughly chop.
- Heat the oil in a large heavy-based pan and cook the onion, garlic and red pepper, stirring, for 10 minutes, or until soft. Add tomatoes and cook another 10 minutes.
- Add the stock, tomato paste, sugar and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and simmer 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and add basil leaves.
- Allow mixture to cool slightly before processing, in batches, in a food processor or blender until smooth. Return to the pan and reheat gently.
- While the soup is cooking, add the past to a large pan of rapidly boiling salted water and cook until al dente. Drain, add to the soup and heat through. Garnish with basil leaves and parm cheese.