Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Memories and Roasted Garlic and Basil Tomato Soup

Right after moving to Nashville, my best friend's husband, Jason (yes, we both married a Jason!!) came to live with us while he was on his med-school rotation at Vandy. Emily came to visit for a few days to spend time with me, I mean, her husband too, and we got to play while our Jasons did their thing. I couldn't wait to take her to Downtown Franklin where there are the cutest restaurants and shops...so her and so me. I remember us having lunch at the Franklin Mercantile and Emily ordering their Tomato Basil Soup. The thing is, I don't do tomatoes. But I took a bite and was sold. Forever. I then took my sister back to the Franklin Mercantile just a few months later on her visit to Nashville and made her order the soup too. She was sketchy about it but then she too, was sold. I am not sure why I was such an advocate for this soup, but I brought Jason back to the restaurant and made him order the soup. And he was in love. 

Since then, Jason and I have always ordered Tomato Basil soup wherever we can. We love making it at home too but the thing is that it is loaded with cream. And as delicious as cream is, we just can't cook with it on a normal basis. But as luck would have it, we found an amazing recipe in an old Southern Living magazine that is healthy, delicious and so incredibly easy. The best part was the fresh garlic. We have always used garlic from the jar but OMG...the fresh garlic makes all the difference. How sad we have never used it before! But never going back...

Roasted Garlic and Basil Tomato Soup

3 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 (3oz) pkg shallots, peeled and halved
1 tablespoon EVOO
1 (14 1/2 oz.) can Italian style, stewed tomatoes, undrained
1 1/2 cups chicken broth, divided
1/2 tsp hot sauce
1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp salt and pepper to taste
pinch of red pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh basil

Place garlic and shallots in an 8-inch square pan lined with aluminum foil; drizzle with oil.
Bake at 450 for 15 minutes, stirring twice; cool.
Process garlic, shallots, tomatoes, 3/4 cup chicken broth and next 5 ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides. 
Cook tomato mixture and remaining 3/4 cup broth in a medium saucepan over medium heat 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Stir in basil; serve immediately. 

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