Where I live, a tomato in winter has either been trucked a few thousand kilometers or grown captive in a greenhouse.
It’s not something to get too excited about.
I’m all for canned at this time of year, and use them in this Simple Creamy Tomato Basil Soup.
The basil isn’t fresh either. It doesn’t taste the same as fresh basil, but that’s okay. The dried stuff has its own thing going on.
A bit of brown sugar softens the acidity of the canned tomatoes, and a 1/4 cup of rice adds some thickening.
This soup is simple, cheap, fast and tasty and will warm you up while you wait for spring.
- 1 tablespoon / 15 ml olive oil
- 1 medium onion diced (about 1 cup / 250 ml)
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon / 5 ml salt
- 1 28 oz / 796 ml can diced tomatoes, undrained
- 2 cups / 500 ml vegetable stock
- 1 tablespoon / 15 ml brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon / 5 ml dried basil
- 1/4 cup / 60 ml rice
- 1/4 cup / 60 ml whipping cream optional
Heat medium-sized pot over medium heat, then add olive oil.
Add onions to pot, and cook 2-3 minutes until they begin to get soft. Do not let onions brown.
Add garlic and half of the salt. Cook 2-3 more minutes until soft. If vegetables start to brown, turn heat down.
Add tomatoes (with juice from the can), stock, brown sugar, basil and rice.
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until rice is fully cooked - about 15-20 minutes.
Let soup cool slightly, then puree in blender.
Return to soup pot. Add remaining salt.
If you are using the cream, heat the soup to boiling point, and stir in cream.
When cream is thoroughly blended in, heat soup until it begins to bubble.
Remove from heat and serve.
You can replace the dried basil with 1 tablespoon / 15 ml fresh basil. Add fresh basil at the end of the cooking time, before pureeing.
(This recipe and post was updated on January 18, 2016.)