Tomato and Basil Soup

This recipe comes from a book called Fresh and Local, by Canadian chef Craig Flinn. Flinn owns Chives, one of the most well-known restaurants in Halifax. I’ve only eaten there once so far, on New Year’s Eve in 2009, but it was a very memorable experience.

I was given this little cookbook for Christmas a few years ago and re-discovered it again on my recent trip home (the process of what books to take overseas is always a dilemma). I immediately began flagging recipes to make once I was back in Germany. The recipes are an interesting mix of everyday and haute cusine. A lot of them feature very local Nova Scotian ingredients that I won’t be able to make here, but there are still plenty of good recipes, and it’s also got a great Basics section at the back.

Anyway, onto the soup…

In terms of the preparation this the easiest soup I’ve made. The recipe didn’t even call for the tomatoes to be peeled — just put everything (tomatoes, garlic, basil, tomato paste, stock, sugar, and salt & pepper) in a pot, simmer for 60 minutes, and then puree. It’s also very healthy as obviously there is no added fat. The result was so-so. The soup’s texture was fairly thin, so it really made the tomato seeds stand out, which I didn’t like. In general I prefer slightly thicker soups, which is why this is not my favourite tomato soup that I’ve had. The timing worked out well, though, as I’ve had a sickie in the house all week and it proved to be a good antidote!

Tomato soup with midday fall sun streaming in
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