Friday, February 2, 2007

Soup's Up

I've noticed that a lot of food blogs have been writing about soup lately (I especially enjoyed the Parsnip and Turnip Soup from Barrett of Too Many Chefs). And it seems only fitting - cold weather makes me want to consume hot things. And if you're lucky enough to live in a moderate climate, you probably can't quite grasp what it's like to come inside from 5 degree weather (the low in Chicago this weekend is -12 degrees Fahrenheit). My tea intake has gone through the roof and I find myself choosing dinner menus that involve a satisfying soup. Today was no different. I met my boyfriend for a quick lunch at Go Roma. (For those readers who are not familiar with this restaurant chain, it's basically quality Italian-style food at affordable prices... kind of like a Noodles & Company.) And I know most sophisticated foodie bloggers would look down on this commoner choice for dining, but I love it and I don't think I need to defend that. (I also love the Mac & Cheese at Noodles & Co., but that's beside the point. Perhaps I should work on a acquiring a more sophisticated palate...)

At any rate, my lunch choice was not a difficult one. Go Roma's Tomato Basil soup is one of my absolute favorites. I'm a fan of Tomato Basil soup in general - I just love the creamy yet slightly chunky texture of the tomatoes mixed with bits of fresh basil, especially with a big piece of crusty bread. My previous Tomato Basil obsession was from La Madeleine, which I enjoyed immensely until it went out of business and is no longer in the area.

I have yet to master the Tomato Basil technique in my own kitchen, but for now I have no shame in feeding off of others' excellence. We do have an excellent recipe on the site that is not particularly difficult and will certainly warm a freezing tummy. Go Roma adds a drizzle of basil-infused olive oil on top that really adds to the creamy texture.

Fresh Tomato Basil Soup


4 C. fresh tomatoes, peeled, cored and chopped
4 C. good chicken stock
10 fresh basil leaves
1 C. heavy cream
1/4 lb. unsalted butter
Salt and pepper to taste


Combine tomatoes and stock in saucepan. Simmer 30 minutes. Puree, along with the basil leaves, in small batches, in a blender or food processor. Return to saucepan and add cream and butter, while stirring over low heat. Garnish with extra basil leaves and serve with your favorite bread.


rai said...

Hi Max - This sounds fantastic. I just bought some basil for pesto, I'll have to hold back a couple of leaves for this. I LOVE tomato basil soup. Do you think some tomato paste or sauce would help zest things up? If you get a chance stop by my blog and check out my month or so of soups. Cheers