I had lunch with a friend who had recently returned from a year in Austria. It was wonderful to talk with her and catch up on her family's adventures, during their time away.
In Austria they would shop every day or two for groceries, and one evening she wanted to make a tomato soup I had featured - however her husband came home with pizza sauce instead of plain canned tomatoes!! As with any good cook, she was able to substitute, compromise, and serve her family a fabulous meal.
I added tomato paste to this recipe because I felt the soup needed to be a little richer (cream would be good too) In addition, I added lots of color to my picture - also to make it richer.
GRILLED TOMATO BASIL SOUP
2 pounds of tomatoes, halved
1 onion, peeled and quartered
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
3 cups chicken broth
several sprigs of fresh thyme, parsley, celery top and a bay leaf, tied together
1/4 cup fresh basil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon or orange juice
1 tablespoon tomato paste
plain yogurt or sour cream
Heat grill or broiler.
Rub tomatoes and onion with olive oil, salt and pepper. Grill or broil for about 10 minutes or until flesh is lightly charred, turning once. Remove skins.
Combine tomatoes, onion, carrot, garlic, stock, herb bundle and little salt in a large pot.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes, or until vegetables are soft.
Discard herb bundle. Puree vegetables until smooth, return to pot. Stir in basil, lemon juice, tomato paste and sugar.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve chilled or hot with a spoonful of yogurt and garnish with fresh basil if desired.
Recipe adapted from Arkansas Democrat Gazette, July 2004