Tomato basil soup hits the spot in fall


By Parind Vora
Lockhart Bistro

Hello everyone. My name is Parind Vora. I’m the chef/owner of Lockhart Bistro in the charming Lockhart square. In this column we talk cooking, tricks to cooking, and sometimes eating.
As we get to football weather, we are also into homemade soup weather. Our best-selling soup at the restaurant is our tomato basil soup.
So let’s make a soup that helps us through the chill in the air while reminding us of the warmth of a summer day.
Let’s get started.

5# of stemmed and peeled tomatoes (Roma) chopped on pulse in a food processor or hand chopped with the liquid.
2 cups of cherry/grape tomatoes cut in half
1 small can of tomato paste (I use cento)
1 quart of heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons of dried oregano
1 cup of fresh sweet Basil leaves (no stems)
1 tablespoon of sugar or to taste (only add if the tomatoes are not ripe enough)
Kosher salt to taste
Crushed red pepper to taste
1/2 cup Greek olive oil

Cut a ‘X’ in the pointy end of the tomato. Blanch all the tomatoes in boiling water for 30 seconds. Remove the skin. Grind in a food processor pulsing until desired consistency is reached. Add tomato paste, grape tomatoes (whole with the skin) and olive oil to a pot and cook over medium low heat for 3-5 min. Add all of the crushed roma tomatoes. Then increase the heat to medium high.
Cook 20 minutes constantly stirring. Add about a 1/2 cup of water if gets too dry Add all of the heavy cream and all the seasoning. Bring to a boil and lower the heat to a simmer & cook for 30-40 minutes. Add the sugar now if needed.
Put the fresh basil leaves in a blender with one cup of the soup in progress.
Blend on low and increase to high ntil it’s a very smooth liquid. Add back to the soup. Taste and adjust seasoning. Add more water if needed.
Reduce over medium low heat until desired thickness while stirring constantly. Let the soup come to room temperature and then refrigerate for 1-2 days for the flavor to meld.
To re-heat, cook uncovered over medium heat stirring constantly.
Serve with croutons or grilled ch ese (my preference). My preference for wine goes to an old world red or white Grenache from the Rioja region in Spain.
Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at the Bistro. Cheers!


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