When out to lunch, tomato-basil soup is one of our favorite things to order. It’s just a simple purée, but somehow it’s always deeply flavorful and comforting. And, of course, it tastes amazing with a grilled cheese sandwich — the ultimate savory dipping combo.
This recipe comes from Mutti, the Italian tomato brand. They developed it with San Francisco chef Joanne Weir, of the “Plates & Places” fame. It couldn’t be easier to make: basically, you tie up a bouquet of fresh basil and put it in a pot with tomato purée, sautéed onion and chicken stock. Ten minutes on the stove transforms those humble ingredients into a thick, delightfully herby soup, full of rich, sweet vine-ripened tomato flavor.
Making tomato-basil soup turns your home kitchen into an Italian bistro. It’s perfect for a cozy Sunday lunch with your parents or a weeknight meeting of the neighborhood book club. Do everyone a great big favor and make grilled cheese sandwiches to go with it — think sourdough bread and Gruyère cheese.
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
8 sprigs basil
2 24.5-ounce bottles Mutti tomato purée
3 cups chicken stock
½ cup fresh basil leaves, loosely packed, very thinly sliced
- In a large soup, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally until the onions are soft, 8 minutes.
- With kitchen string, tie the basil sprigs together. Add basil sprigs, tomato puree, and chicken stock to the onions and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until the soup slightly thickens, about 10 minutes. Allow it to cool for 10 minutes.
- Remove the basil and discard. Season the soup with salt and serve it warm with a garnish of basil strips.
- The soup can be done up to one day in advance and stored in the refrigerator until ready to serve. If so, heat the soup over medium heat until hot, for 5 minutes.
- Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with basil strips.
Recipe Source: Mutti