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Tomato and Basil Soup

Tomato and Basil Soup

This recipe was prepared by Chef John Maxwell on Real Virginia, Virginia Farm Bureau’s weekly television program.

Maxwell, a certified executive chef, culinary educator and member of the American Academy of Chefs, shares delicious seasonal recipes in a Real Virginia segment sponsored by Virginia Grown, a program of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Tomato and Basil Soup

1 fresh tomatoes, locally grown if possible
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 cup minced garlic
½ cup diced onion
3 cups crushed tomatoes (can be made from fresh tomatoes)
1 pint chicken stock
¾ cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons minced fresh basil
salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
4 sprigs fresh basil, for garnish

Blanch, peel and remove the seeds from the tomatoes, and finely dice them.

In a sauté pan, heat vegetable oil. Sauté garlic and onion until they are clear. Add diced tomatoes, and cook on low heat for about 5 minutes, stirring to prevent sticking.

Add crushed tomatoes, and simmer for 3 minutes. Add stock and cream, and simmer until soup reduces by about one-fourth.

Add minced basil, and simmer for about 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Soup may be served hot or cold. Sprinkle each serving with a little Parmesan cheese, and garnish with a basil leaf. Serves 8-10.