Tomato Basil Soup
I've stipulated brands of chicken broth and tomatoes below because both will influence flavor and cooking time for this recipe. A VItamix blender is your best bet here - if using a regular blender just make sure to cool before pureeing. The slow saute of the onions and caramelizing the tomato paste and crushed tomatoes are both essential to building good flavor.
1-2 T olive oil or butter
pinch chili flakes
1/2 of a medium-sized yellow onion, finely chopped
handful fresh basil, chopped
One 4 oz can tomato paste
One 28-ounce can Muir Glen Crushed Tomatoes
48-ounces chicken broth (Imagine Organic or Whole Foods 365 taste the best IMO)
kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Heat pot over medium-low heat. Chop onion and basil.
Add olive oil or butter to pot. Add onion and and saute gently for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally
Add the tomato paste to the pot and cook, stirring frequently for about 8-10 minutes. You want to see the color deepen to a nice orange. Add the crushed tomatoes, bring to a simmer and let the entire mixture cook for about 15-20 minutes, stirring frequently until it deepens to that same orangey red.
Add the chicken stock and basil and bring back to a simmer, cooking another 30 minutes or so.
Transfer the soup into the Vitamix and puree. NOTE: If you are using a blender or Cuisinart to puree the soup, you must cool the soup first or it will explode all over you and your kitchen!
Return to pot and rewarm. Taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary. Serve with a sprig of basil, or a smattering of julienned basil leaves.