I have loved tomato soup since the day I discovered that tomatoes and basil make a great pair. It has always been my go-to order in restaurants, but I always hesitated to make it myself. Why? Well I, for some reason thought that it was very hard, time-consuming and ultimately not worth it.
Well, It all changed when my favorite soup began to disappear from all the local dining spots… So I decided to take action! Dramatic right?
I prepared in advance, bought the ingredients and canceled all my plans for the day. Things were going to get down in the kitchen. I think you've guessed where I'm going with my little rant. How disappointed was I with myself when I spent no more than 30 min of actually physically cooking. How was I so mislead?
Anyhow, the soup turned out to be much better than in any restaurant, not to mention the fact that I had leftovers for the whole week.
Tomatoes - 2 kg. Don't hesitate and buy the cheapest you can find.
Fresh Basil - a bunch
Garlic - to your taste but I used 2 whole heads
Heavy cream/half-and-half or just plain milk - 0.5 liters
Salt and pepper
Mozzarella balls for serving
Preheat the oven on the highest temperature setting, my was 250 C. This trick I have taken from the guys in front of Pro Home Cooks from YouTube. They advised to bake your vegetables at the highest settings for a good crust on top and softness inside. This method also gave my tomatoes an extra caramel taste.
Wash and cut in half the tomatoes, peel the garlic, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle some salt. I've had garlic salt because there is no such thing as too much garlic in my book. The French chefs advise to remove the germ from the garlic, for a less bitter taste, but I will agree with mister Jamie Oliver on this one: "Nobody got time for fussing with garlic".
Spread everything on the baking dish and bake for half an hour at 250 C or less if your oven goes higher.
Let everything cool and transfer it to a blender. Now, if you are a "professional", you can use an immersion blender. I am not and I ended up with a quarter of my soup on the kitchen walls. You live and you learn I guess.
Blend the tomatoes with garlic and add lots of basil. Add a handful at a time, but tomatoes love lots of basil and leave the small top leaves for decor. Add salt, pepper, and some chili flakes (careful with those bastards).
Transfer the blend into a pot add your dairy and 1 liter of water. Bring everything to a boil - et voilà!
Serve a desired portion size topped with a few mozzarella balls and those small top leaves of basil.
Keep in the fridge for up to 5 days or freeze for later. I will definitely make a big batch for the freezer for those lazy days.