La Madeleine Tomato Basil Soup

You know that classic tomato basil soup from La Madeline, the casual French dining chain? Well, it's the perfect meal (with Rustic Rosemary Bread) for when you're fighting the flu or cold, which Reid and I had the joy of doing all last week.  It was also a great way to use up some of by fresh basil, which I'm trying to trim down for the winter.  This a copy-cat recipe that I created by combing two tomato soup recipes I really enjoy.  One was found in a cook book my friend Laura's mom gave me in college, called Survival Cooking for Students.  It was a compilation of easy and tasty recipes that she and Laura's dad had printed.  The recipe for La Madeline's Tomato Basil Soup was from the Houston paper.  The second recipe that inspired this was the Roasted Tomato-Basil Soup from William Sonoma's Soup cookbook.  Both recipes have the option of buying fresh tomatoes, roasting or peeling, coring and chopping tomatoes or using canned.  I use canned because it's so much easier and just as good (and cheap!).  I have used fresh before, and I'm not convinced the flavor pay off is worth the work.

  • 4 cans fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1 shallot, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbs. olive oil
  • 4 c. tomato juice (or equal mixture tomato juice and vegetable or chicken stock)
  • fresh basil, about 1 cup, chopped plus additional for garnish
  • 3/4 c. whipping cream
  • 6 tbs. butter
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a large pot or Dutch oven, warm olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add shallots and garlic and saute until translucent, about 2 minutes.
  2. Add canned tomatoes and tomato juice and simmer for about 20 minutes or until tomatoes broken down and mixture thickened.  Cool slightly.
  3. In a blender, puree tomato mixture and basil.
  4. Return to pan and stir in cream and butter over low heat.
  5. Add salt and pepper to tasty
  6. Serve garnished with basil and rustic bread.


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