Cooler Temps Designates the Comforts of Warm Soup

It may not be bitter cold today in North Georgia but windy, gusty conditions with temps in the low 40’s makes this the prime time for a bowl of Tomato Basil Soup.

If you have been following my blog recently, you will have read my recent entries of my opportunity to stand on stage and photograph great Chefs of Atlanta along with celebrity Chef Aarón Sanchez of Food Network Series “Chopped” during the weekend festival of Taste of Atlanta.

L-R, Chefs Suzanne, Tina, Tom and Jeffrey(Chopped Contestants) with Sanchez

Several of the Chefs demonstrating throughout the weekend festival cooked tomato based dishes using canned tomatoes since technically locally grown fresh tomatoes were out of season. This was the end of October.  The first time I saw canned tomatoes used by a celebrity chef was while watching Food Network’s own Chef Anne Burrell.   While tomatoes are always in abundance 365 days a year, the fact is, they’ve been in storage or they come from very far away and not the same as fresh locally grown.

A good substitute is a can of San Marzano.  However, San Marzano is hard to find in local grocery stores.  If one wants to drive a distance to specialty markets, then they will find San Marzano.  In my opinion, having tried San Marzano, an even better substitute is Muir Glen brand tomatoes.  They can be found in any grocery store chain in the organic section of the store.

Muir Glen is a collaboration of organic tomato farmers located in Petaluma, California, Sonoma County.  While San Marzano plum tomatoes grow in Naples, Italy, perhaps organically, I find Muir Glen more flavorful.  In fact, I’ve all be stopped using fresh tomatoes in all my tomato based dishes because I can not achieve the scrumptious flavor in that of Muir Glen.   I know this sounds like an advertisement for Muir Glen but I can’t emphasize my love of their tomatoes.

I always use my grandmother’s Iron Pot for soups, chili and pot roasts. Maybe a stainless steel pot would work but I’ve never tried it.

This recipe is the easiest and fastest way to serve up a dinner in less than 20 minutes prep and cooking time.
Serve soup with toasted Gruyere Cheese sandwiches for an additional WOW! factor or any cheese will do.
The soup makes a great side dish to any dinner entrée.

Serves four to six people depending on being used as the entrée or as a side dish.

Ingredients

A good amount of Olive Oil drizzled on the bottom of the pot
One Large can (28oz) Tomatoes
One quart (32oz) Beef Broth
One medium yellow,sweet onion, sliced thinly
One clove Garlic, minced
1/4 cup red wine (Alternative – Marsala)
Salt and Pepper to taste
Chiffonade of Basil to top off the soup

Slice onions and mince garlic. In a hot pot, drizzle olive oil then sauté onions until lightly browned. Add minced garlic to cook less than 20 seconds. (Cooking garlic over this amount of time will ruin any dish) Add broth and tomatoes. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 10 -15 minutes. Just before serving add wine for additional flavor. Salt and Pepper to taste.

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About Pam Rauber

Photographer, Writer, Home Chef.
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