Amelie's Tomato-Basil Soup
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil ½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup minced white onion 2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley
1 teaspoon minced garlic ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
8 cups fresh tomatoes, prepared* ¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup chicken broth ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
½ cup minced fresh basil 2 chicken bouillon cubes (optional)
* To prepare tomatoes, boil for 45 - 60 seconds, use slotted spoon to transfer to ice water bath, slide skins off, and cut out top of core and any bad spots. I find that Roma tomatoes need the full 60 seconds to ensure the skins come off easily.
1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and then add onion and garlic. Saute for about one minute.
2. Add prepared tomatoes and chicken broth and bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and let mixture cool, uncovered for 30 minutes or so. You can let it sit for as long as an hour if you like.
3. Pour about half of the mixture into a blender. Put the lid on and hold it down with a dish towel. Blend on high speed for about one minute. Pour the mixture into a large bowl.
4. Repeat Step 3 for the rest of the unblended mixture. (I usually do not do this step, because I like my soup a little chunkier.)
5. Pour the puree back into the saucepan, and then add the remaining ingredients. Bring the soup back up to a bubble, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
7. Let cool to warm before attempting to ladle into freezer bags. I stand my bags up in a high-sided bowl for ladling. Make sure you have a good seal; lay flat on plate over sink to make sure. I then transfer them (2 bags for single recipe, 4 bags if you doubled it) to the freezer. Each bag would serve four for lunch, two for dinner, or in our case two for lunch.
When I reheat a package, I run under hot water to loosen and then "dump" the soup into a pan for reheating. I add a little bit of heavy cream or half-and-half, also. Serve with croutons and a little Parmesan shredded on top. We often have a grilled cheese sandwich or toasted ham-and-cheese sandwich with it.