I made something earlier this week that called for tomato juice and then I had a whole huge jug of it left in my fridge. I hate for things to go to waste and love to repurpose things, so tonight I made it into tomato basil soup. I found the recipe on Cookpad. I’ve never used any recipes from that site before, but was happy with the way this turned out. After making salsa every year, I generally have loads of extra strained tomato juice from the process. I have attempted to make many varieties of tomato soup with it, but have never loved the result. But, I really liked this recipe, so next salsa canning season this will definitely be one the menu.
CREAMY TOMATO BASIL SOUP
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 (14.5) cans whole tomatoes, drained
- 6 C tomato juice
- 4-6 Tbsp granulated sugar
- 2 tsp chicken soup base (or 2 bullion cubes)
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- sea salt to taste
- 1 C evaporated milk
- 1/4 chopped fresh basil
- Optional garnishes (per bowl): more fresh chopped basil, chopped fresh parsley, seasoned croutons, shredded mozzarella or parmesan, Tabasco, drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, pinch cayenne powder or smoked paprika
- Melt butter with olive oil in a 3-4 quart stock pot over medium heat. Add onions and garlic. Sautee until onions are translucent. About 5-7 minutes.
- Transfer onion and garlic to blender. Add drained cans of whole tomatoes. Cover and pulse until you have a coarse puree.
- Transfer puree back to stockpot over medium high heat. Add tomato juice, soup base, and 3 Tbsp sugar. Taste and add up to 1 more 1 Tbsp sugar at this time. Note: The sugar is used to help cut the acidity of the tomatoes. The acidity of tomatoes can vary from batch to catch so always s tart low when adding the sugar.
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer uncovered for 20-25 minutes to reduce slightly (about the consistency of thin gravy). Taste soup after it has reduced. Add pepper, salt to taste, and up to 2 Tbsp more sugar as needed/desired. (I normally use the full 6 Tbsp).
- Reduce heat to low. Once soup has stopped bubbling stir in evaporated milk until well incorporated. Then stir in chopped basil. Cover and let sit about 5 minutes for flavors to blend.
- Dish up and garnish with any combination of the suggested garnishes above.
- For a smoother consistency: Before adding evaporated milk carefully run soup through a fine mesh sieve to remove all the solids. Return to pot, then add evaporated milk and basil.