When I told a friend recently that we were planning on making a tomato basil soup for our next recipe, she totally disagreed with it as an idea and claimed soup is only good for the winter.
This got me thinking on the subject, and I came to several conclusions. Although I will agree that a tasty, hot soup is something special in the middle of a deep, cold winter – looking out at snow as you chow down for example – it’s also very much made for the summer.
Firstly, it’s an easy, light dish – so if you want something that fills you up without bloating then it’s perfect. And as it’s quick to make it means you can spend more time enjoying yourself out of the kitchen and in the sun instead!
Secondly, if you’ve ever tried growing tomatoes or basil then you’ll know that summer is their ideal time! The tomatoes are a deep, appealing red, bursting with flavour, and the basil leaves are thick and bushy, begging to be added to the pot. The two even grow best when planted next to each other… so I think that says enough for the dish!
We found that you can alter this recipe in a variety of ways without compromising taste. First of all, a mix of tinned tomatoes with a few fresh tomatoes really saves time. There’s less chopping to be done but you still get the flavour from the fresh tomatoes thrown in as well. You can even just use tinned tomatoes for really quick results.
Thirdly, Kat decided to try adding some Greek yogurt to make it more creamy – and this worked really well. It makes it a little thicker and smoother (and also ups the protein content, something I’m very happy about).
To keep it vegan you could use almond milk instead, and swap the drop of honey for agave syrup. If you have the time you can also make it purely with fresh tomatoes – this is great and a very useful way to use up a load of tomatoes if you have an abundance for any reason.
Also, from our own experience, when buying tomatoes look for a nice deep red colour with the tomatoes still attached to the vine for the freshest (and bestest) flavour!
And finally – a hand blender is an absolute beast in the prepping of soups. If you don’t have one yet, then you’ll find this one here will save you sooooo much time!
Health Benefits – Easy and Creamy Tomato Basil Soup
Basil is a firm favourite in this house – and not just for it’s great taste. The more you can chuck into a dish, the better. It’s an anti inflammatory, has great antibacterial effects and contains magnesium which relaxes the muscles and blood vessels, allowing blood flow to improve (1).
Tomatoes are also an extreme carer of the heart. The high count of antioxidant nutrients make sure oxygen is efficiently carried throughout the body, as well as cutting down on clots and blockages. They’re also great for bone strength and growth, and even have proven anti cancer benefits (2)!
If you’re plumping for the yogurt version then the added protein really brings it’s own qualities. If you’ve been working out then the protein is essential for repairing and building muscle, as well as making sure muscle mass doesn’t drop, and helps to keep your immune system nice and strong. What’s not to like (3)?
We want your opinion!
- Is soup only good in winter?
- What’s your favourite soup?
- Do you grow any veggies or herbs?
- If so, have you found any super effective growing combos?
- ¾ liter/3 cups vegetable stock
- 1 red onion
- 2 tins diced tomatoes (14 oz / 400g); (or 1 tin and 200g fresh tomatoes)
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 cup basil leaves (good handful)
- 1 tbl spoon of tomato paste
- 2 tsp spoon honey/agave syrup
- 100 gr. Greek yogurt
- Grated parmesan cheese
- Sambal Oelek or a spicy sauce of your choice as garnish
- Dice the onion and cook it on a medium heat in a big saucepan in olive oil for 5 minutes. Crush the garlic and add it to the onions and cook for 30 seconds.
- Then add the tomatoes (fresh and/or tinned) and the stock and let it simmer.
- After 20 minutes wash and cut the basil and add it to the soup.
- If you used fresh tomatoes and don’t want the skin, pluck them out and remove it from the softened tomatoes. Otherwise leave it in there!
- Add the tomato paste, honey and Greek yogurt and blend it smoothly using a hand blender/liquidizer. (Blending the soup is not crucial, but makes it look nicer)
- Add salt to taste and some optional grated parmesan cheese and extra basil leaves as garnish.
- If you like yours with an extra punch then add some sambal oelek or a spicy sauce of your choice!
- Bon Appetite!!