Tomato and Basil Soup

It’s getting to be sick season in our apartment, so a lot of soup is being made.  This is a super-easy Tomato and Basil Soup made from herbs from 3rd Ward‘s plot at the DeKalb Market.  We’re doing some harvesting over there and getting the plot ready for winter – if you haven’t stopped by, check it out!  Cool container shops and delicious eats make for a lovely stroll in downtown Brooklyn.

Back to the soup.

Tomato and Basil Soup


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 large cans whole tomatoes
  • 3-4 cups basil leaves, washed
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa or brown rice
  • 1 spring rosemary
  • 1 small carrot

To Do:

  1. Set your oven to broil and line 2 cookie sheets with tinfoil and place the tomatoes from the cans on them.  Reserve all of the liquid in the cans.
  2. Simmer the olive oil over medium heat in a large pot on the stove.
  3. Add the onions and sautee until they are browned – feel free to add a bit of water if the onions are sticking to the bottom of the pot.  More decadent?  Add olive oil instead.
  4. Add the garlic to the pot and put heat to low and cover.  You want the mixture to become nice and browned without burning, so add more liquid and adjust the heat if necessary.
  5. Pop the tomatoes under the broiler for about 5 minutes – they should get slightly blistery on top.
  6. While the tomatoes are in the broiler, add the tomato liquid to the pot on the stove and stir.
  7. Take the tomatoes out of the oven (turn off oven), fold the tinfoil in half and just plop the tomatoes and their juices into the pot.  Mash around with a big wooden spoon and add the quinoa, rosemary, carrot and basil.  Bring to a boil and then let simmer for about 15 minutes.  If it looks too much like pasta sauce, add water or broth.  I just filled one of the tomato cans full of water and used that.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Remove the carrot and rosemary spring and then carefully (it’s hot!), blend the soup in batches or use an immersion blender.  I wanted a very smooth soup, so I opted for the blender.
  9. Serve in big bowls with breadcrumbs and fresh basil leaves (optional).

You can, of course, omit the step of roasting the tomatoes a bit.  I thought it created an interesting flavor, but bet the soup would be tasty without that step.  The quinoa was added because I had some cooked in the fridge, but also thought it would provide a creaminess that normally some sort of dairy would provide.  Happy to say that it worked beautifully AND with quinoa you have the added bonus of adding a complete protein to your meal!  Add some salad and you’ve got a simple supper.


4 Comments on “Tomato and Basil Soup”

  1. Dinah says:

    Tina – your blog always makes me want to ‘up sticks’ from the UK and move to Brooklyn! it seems like there is so much going on. I would never of thought to roast canned tomatoes, but see it has the potential to add an extra layer of flavour – I’ll be sure to give it a try next time I have the oven on (plus it’s a good use of oven space and the soup can always be fridged or frozen). Now our own homegrown tomatoes are over, I’ll be reverting back to tins and passata.

    Anyway, great to read your posts, and I hope your readership continue to participate and leave comments.

  2. Granny says:

    I like the idea of adding quinoa. A good experiment that obviously turned out just as you expected. I think that people who truly enjoy cooking develop a sort of intuition about how ingredients interact. When the result is a satisfying experience in color, texture and flavor, you know your meal was created with love. Great looking little soup!

  3. Charlotte says:

    I’ll be trying this this week. Just finished work for Christmas and have been hit with a cold.. perfect timing there. Soup is the only thing that cheers me up when I’m under the weather, and making it myself will give me something to concentrate on.. so win win!

    thanks for sharing x

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