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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.