4 – 6 servings. You could use canned whole tomatoes here to save time and fuss (steps 1 – 3), but then it wouldn’t be “Fresh” Tomato Soup, would it? Fresh brings a different flavor profile.
10 organic Roma tomatoes, ripe and fragrant
1 teaspoon salt (for tomatoes)
2 teaspoons dried basil
2 teaspoons agave syrup
3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large bay leaf
1 cup sweet onion, small dice
1 teaspoon salt
1 pinch, up to 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme, de-stemmed
1/2 cup organic celery, small dice
1/2 cup organic carrots, small dice
2 cups organic vegetable broth
1 cup original organic almond milk (unsweetened, no vanilla), or to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 – 6 fresh basil leaves, stacked and rolled lengthwise into a cigar, then finely sliced across the cigar for long tendrils, as garnish.
1 – Rinse the tomatoes. Cut out stem core. Then, on the other end of each tomato, cut an X through the skin, about 1/2 inch long for each diagonal. Put all the tomatoes in a large, deep bowl.
2 – Boil up enough water (probably about 6 or 7 cups) to pour over and submerge all the tomatoes. Let stand for 2 minutes, then pour off the hot water. Let the tomatoes stand 5 minutes or more to cool them enough to handle.
3 – Using a paring knife, and starting with the slit skin end, peel off the skin (which comes off very easily now). Cut each tomato into quarters. Using your fingers, scoop out the seeds and discard them, but keep the fleshy form. That’s your fresh tomato. OK, now — all the rest is simple.
4 – Cut the tomatoes into 1/4 cubes. Add salt, dried basil, and agave syrup. Mix well. Set aside for a few minutes.
5 – Heat the olive oil in a heavy kettle on medium, them add the onion, bay leaf, and salt. Sauté until onions soften and become translucent, about 1 – 2 minutes.
6 – Add the garlic, a pinch of red pepper flakes, and the fresh thyme. Add the celery and carrots. Stir around to coat, cover, and cook for 3 minutes..
7 – Add the seasoned tomatoes. Mix well with the other vegetables. Add vegetable stock. Bring up to a boil, then cover, and simmer for 5 minutes.
8 – Remove the bay leaf.
9 – Purée soup in a large blender (or with a stick blender) for 20 to 30 seconds, or until smooth, but still with texter.
10 – Return to kettle, on medium heat. Add almond milk. Taste. Add, as needed, more salt, red pepper flakes, agave syrup, and almond milk. Heat for a few minutes, then serve, garnished with black pepper and fresh basil.