Viola Brown from La Pointe, Ind., was looking for a good and easy recipe for making tomato basil soup. She said she is 82 years old and has a hard time finding things she still likes to eat. It's not surprising that she would be in search of a recipe for homemade tomato soup, as it's a classic comfort food no matter what the season.
Jenny Garcia from Santa Rosa, Calif., shared a recipe that she and her husband came up with that she said was inspired by a similar recipe in the Barefoot Contessa Cookbook. What makes this soup special is the roasted tomatoes. This simple step brings out the best flavor of the tomatoes and gives the soup real depth. The soup is easy to prepare and it freezes very well. Add to that the fact that it is both vegan friendly and lactose free and you can't really go wrong with this one. Pair this soup with a grilled cheese sandwich and you have genuine comfort food at its very best.
Mary Quinn from Baltimore would like some help locating the recipe for the Louisiana Ring Cake that was sold by the long-ago closed Rice's bakery in Baltimore. As she recalls, this slightly orange-flavored ring cake had a crunchy outer "crust" on all sides. She said "back in the good old days" the bakery would deliver wonderful fresh breads and cakes to your door. She has never found a bakery version that comes close to the flavor and texture of the Rice's bakery cake and was hoping someone might have their recipe.
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Roasted Tomato Basil Soup
Makes 4-6 servings
2 1/2 pounds Roma tomatoes cut in half lengthwise
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided¿
Salt and pepper, to taste, for seasoning tomatoes¿
1 medium onion, chopped¿
4 cloves of garlic, minced
Dash of red pepper flakes¿
1 cup freshly chopped basil¿
1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes¿
4 cups vegetable broth (you can use chicken broth)¿
Salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Spread the tomatoes on a baking sheet and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and roast for about 45 minutes.
In a large stockpot, heat the other 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until tender, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in the garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook for another 2-3 minutes. Add the canned tomatoes, fresh basil, and vegetable or chicken broth. Stir in the oven-roasted tomatoes. Cook for about 30 minutes over medium-low heat.
Use an immersion blender to puree the soup in the stockpot, or transfer soup to a food processor or blender to blend. The soup should be smooth, with a few tomato chunks. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve warm.
Note: Be careful when transferring the soup to a blender or food processor. You may want to wait until it is at room temperature to blend.