Monday, October 6, 2014

Chunky Tomato Basil Soup

You know how sometimes you have that one perfect meal that just sticks with you? That's how this soup and fries meal is for me. We had been in New Zealand for two and a half weeks almost and the whole time it had been cold, rainy, and windy. In short, perfect normal October weather. The only problem was that October in the Southern Hemisphere equals springtime. So for weeks Justin and I had been craving soups and pastas and everything fallish. And just about all we could find was salads and sandwiches. We had some very, very delicious foods but it just wasn't what I was craving.

And then, the night before we were due to take the fairy back to the north island, we stumbled upon a little pub that had soups. Well, Justin got the seafood chowder and I got the most delicious and satisfying bowl of chunky tomato basil. The potatoes were pretty tasty too; served freshly fried with a scoop of sour cream. But it's that tomato basil that has really haunted me.

Ever since that cold Springtime (October) afternoon, I've been looking to recreate that meal. A couple of weeks ago, almost exactly two years since I had that perfect bowl of soup, I stumbled upon this recipe that tasted exactly how I remembered it. Delicious, warm broth with chunks of onion and tomato and just a hint of oil floating on top. Sprinkle it liberally with sea salt and just a pinch of fresh parmesan. Mmmmm... 

Now all we have to find is the perfect seafood chowder. If you have a favourite recipe let me know in the comments!

Chunky Tomato Basil
      Adapted from: The Roasted Root

Servings: 4-6

1 tablespoons olive oil
2 small yellow onions, chopped
*8 cloves garlic, minced
1 ½  teaspoons dried basil
3 14.5 oz cans of diced tomatoes with juice
1 ½ cups chicken/turkey stock
1 tbs butter
½ tsp baking soda
Sea salt to taste
Grated Parmesan cheese for serving

In a large pot, sauté the onion in the olive oil over medium heat until soft. Add garlic and cook until fragrant.

Dump the diced tomatoes with juice, broth, basil, and butter into the pot. Stir until butter is melted.

Add the baking soda. This will create a reaction with the acidity in the soup and will fizzle up so stir continuously.

Bring the soup to a boil and then simmer for 45 minutes with the lid on.

Justin and I liked ours with freshly grated parmesan on it.

*We love lots and lots of garlic so we added eight cloves. If you have more normal tastes, I would scale back to 4 cloves. 

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