After having our annual garage sale, I was tired to the bone and starved. Thankfully I made this soup the day before – it hit the spot along with a delicious grilled cheese sandwich. This soup is good year round and easy to make. I usually double the recipe. Note the shortcuts.
8 Roma tomatoes, whole for grilling, then diced when cool
NOTE:(If you are in a hurry or it’s not tomato season, you can use a large can of Fire Roasted Tomatoes. Muir Glen makes wonderful Fire Roasted Petite Diced or Crushed Tomatoes (280z.) and it is a delicious alternative to fresh Roma tomatoes.)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 celery stalks, diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1⁄2 yellow onion, diced
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
1⁄4 cup white wine
2 cups vegetable stock
1 pint heavy cream
1 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
1⁄2 cup asiago cheese, shredded to sprinkle on top of each bowl of soup
Kosher salt and black pepper
If you are using canned tomatoes, skip this step. Heat the grill to medium and roast the whole Roma tomatoes. (Roma tomatoes have a lower water content.) When the skins begin to look soft and start to separate from the tomato flesh, remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
In a large heavy stockpot, melt the butter over medium-low heat and add the diced celery, carrots, and onion. Sauté the vegetables until the onions are soft, translucent, and beginning to brown.
Dice the roasted tomatoes when they are cool to the touch. Add the diced tomatoes (or canned) to the other sautéed vegetables. Add the tomato paste and white wine. Stir until thoroughly combined.
Add the vegetable stock (or water) and bring the mixture to a simmer over low heat. Cover loosely and let reduce, checking occasionally to make sure the heat remains low and the mixture does not scorch.
In a separate saucepan, combine the heavy cream with the chopped basil. Bring the cream-basil mixture to a simmer over low heat. Slowly add the warm basil cream to the tomato mixture and stir well.
Let the mixture cool slightly before placing in a food processor or blender or it will shoot out the top. Purée the soup until smooth, and season with salt and pepper.