Thursday, November 10, 2011

Tomato Basil Pesto Soup

I'm sharing my humble tomato soup recipe with you, fit for all domestic goddesses. It probably won't suit Gordon Ramsey but hey C'est la vie. I love this soup for a few reasons. First and foremost my children eat it - this is a huge bonus. Its very simple to make and makes you feel domestic goddessy without going to too much effort for a healthy meal.

You will need:
olive oil
1-2 garlic cloves
1 onion
1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped
2 tins tomato puree
1 litre chicken/vegetable stock
1/2 tsp sugar
salt & freshly ground pepper
basil pesto or large handful of basil leaves
1 heaped tsp of bicarb

First you chop up the onion and garlic and braze it in some olive oil. Add some sweet potato and sweat this for about 5 mins. I've got a gas top so it can catch at the bottom slightly, I just add a Tbsp or so of water to prevent this. Then you add the tomato puree. Next is chicken stock as I like the flavour, but you can add vegetable stock if you prefer. Then add sugar and seasoning.

I do season sparingly with salt and freshly ground pepper as there can be a high salt content in stock already. I check the seasoning again at the end. First secret ingredient is two large dollops of Basil pesto or fresh basil leaves. Actually sometimes I add more I'm so addicted to the stuff. Bring this to the boil and then simmer for 40 minutes.

Carefully using a hand blender, as its very hot, blend everything to get a smooth consistency. You can add more sweet potato to get a thicker consistency. Sometimes I leave out the sweet potato for a thinner soup. It just depends on the day, if I'm in a rush or I open my cupboard and there's no potato! It still tastes delicious.

The second secret ingredient is the bicarb! I found this out by accident. I had the most divine tomato soup at a restaurant and complimented the chef. She told me it was a simple tsp of bicarb that made all the difference. It gives the soup a lovely consistency. I tried it and it works! Its so cool to use as well. When you add the bicarb it reacts to the liquid and starts frothing. Its almost like you are doing a small science experiment. Mix it all up and the soup expands a little with all the 'frothing'. Simmer for a further 10 mins.

I got some Tiger bread from Woolworths and cut it into diagonal slices. Rub both sides with a cut garlic clove. I got my kiddies to 'paint' the bread with olive oil - they love helping out. Sprinkle the slices with pink Himalayan Crystal salt or normal coarse salt; bake in the oven until golden brown/crispy. Serve with the tomato soup and check seasoning. This will serve 4-6 people. If you have any leftover - freeze and enjoy another day!   

Tomato soup with sweet potato & basil before blending stage

Adding the bicarb

Frothing tomato experiment

Tiger bread slices being lovingly 'painted'

Bon appetito!


Taryn said...

This sounds absolutely divine!! I've been trying different soups here and will definitely give this a whirl :)

Tin Bird said...

Great! Let me know how it turns out.

lulu said...

I will definitely try this receipe...looks delicious!