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Recipe for :

Cream of Tomato Soup with Basil Oil

This is one of the recipes that has been provided by Shirley Cline from San Fransisco.


1 Tblsp. virgin olive oil
1 medium onion (5 oz.) peeled and coarsely chopped (1 cup)
2 large cloves garlic, peeled
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 small sprig fresh oregano
2 lbs. ripe tomatoes, cut into 2 inch pieces (about 5 cups)
2 1/2 Tblsp. tomato paste
2 tsp. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 1/4 cups water
2 Tblsp. unsalted butter
About 4 Tblsp. basil oil (recipe follows)

Basil Oil:
4 cups lightly packed basil leaves, rinsed and thoroughly dried (4 oz.)
1 tsp. salt
2 1/2 cups canola oil


Heat the olive oil in a sturdy non-reactive saucepan. Add the onion, garlic, thyme, and oregano and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. Then, add the tomato pieces, tomato paste, sugar, salt, pepper and water. Mix well, bring to a boil, cover, reduce the heat to low, and boil gently for 15 minutes.

Push the tomato mixture through a food mill fitted with a fine screen (the soup can be made to this point up to 1 day ahead and refrigerated).

At serving time, heat the soup and add the butter, a little at a time, stirring it in gently until incorporated. Then, if a smoother, creamier textured soup is desired, emulsify the mixture with a handheld immersion blender for about 15 - 20 seconds.

Divide the soup among four soup plates, and drizzle bout 1 tablespoon of the basil oil over the tip of each serving (do not stir it in) to decorate as well as flavor the soup. Serve immediately.

Basil Oil:
Bring 6 cups water to a boil in large saucepan. Drop basil in and stir. Cook leaves 45 seconds, just until water returns to a boil. Drain laves in colander. Rinse under cold water until they are cool. Drain again, the press gently between your palms to remove excess water.

Place leaves in blender with salt and oil. Process for 1 minute (stopping the machines a few times and pushing any mixture collected on sides of blender down into the mixture until you have a smooth puree. Then, add remaining 2 cups of oil and process 5 seconds.

Transfer basil oil to a jar or bottle, cover and refrigerate. After 2 days, you will notice that the solids will sink to the bottom and the green oil will rise to the top. Use as needed over the next 8 - 10 days. Strain the mixture through a kitchen towel, pressing on it to extrude as much of the oil as possible. Discard the solids, place oil in a clean jar or bottle, cover
and refrigerate until needed.

Shirley Cline