Garden Tomato & Basil soup

Perfect for a rainy fall day!

2 Tsp butter
4-5 cloves of garlic sliced thinly
1/4 c of minced fresh basil (if using dry 2 Tsp)
1 chicken bullion cube
1 can diced tomatoes (do not drain)
6-8 fresh grape tomatoes
1/2-1 c of water
Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste

Garnish with parmesan cheese and basil ribbons. Serve with grilled cheese of course!
Serves 2

Melt butter over low heat in bottom of soup pan. Add garlic and let soften for 3-4 minutes (do not turn up heat, if garlic browns it will bitter). Add basil to pan and stir. While the basil cooks into the garlic and butter mixture, add canned tomatoes (do not drain) and washed fresh tomatoes to your food processor. Blend to desired consistency. Add tomatoes to garlic and basil and turn heat up to medium. Add chicken bullion. Add water at this point to thin if you wish, only up to a cup. Bring contents of soup pan to boil and let boil for just a couple of minutes, then return to a low simmer. Let cook for an hour, then taste for salt and pepper.

This is a basic recipe and can be done in any number of ways. If you don’t like garlic, use less; if you like it use more. You can substitute jarred garlic for fresh, and plain with roasted; I just prefer to use fresh cloves if I have it available. I sliced the cloves in this recipe because I wanted larger soft, pieces in my soup–however, you could easily mince or mash if you prefer. It’s the end of the gardening season, and I happen to have fresh tomatoes so I used them. I find with soup, the flavor of canned and fresh tomatoes used together make a very deep more robust soup. Also, if you don’t have access to fresh herbs, that’s ok; using dry is fine, just remember to use significantly less as the dried herbs have more of a concentrated flavor. As with the garlic, I did not puree the tomatoes as I prefer a thicker, chunkier soup and I only added 1/2 cup of water. But, you could certainly blend or process tomatoes to your liking and add or omit water.

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