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A heart warmer.

Jeff enjoyed his tomato-basil soup: "This luscious soup offered us everything we could ever want in a tasteful prelude to an amorous evening encounter: the wonderful smell of onions, garlic, and basil wafting through our home as they simmered; the smooth, rich texture and warm layers of flavor cascading from lips to tongues to throats, then bellies. Finally, the surprisingly sensuous effect of good (try sourdough!) French bread, soaked through with velvety, herb-laden liquid, giving nourishing sustenance to a light, energizing meal. Afterward: untold delights."

Yield: 2 to 3 servings

  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 or 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound (about 3 medium)tomatoes, chopped
  • ½ cup tomato sauce
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • ¼ cup cream
  • 2 Tablespoons coarsely chopped basil
  • 1 slice well-toasted country bread
  • 2 Tablespoons grated
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Pesto (optional)
Sauté the onion and garlic in olive oil in a skillet until tender. Add the tomatoes. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes. Add the tomato sauce, broth, cream, and half of the basil. Simmer for 30 minutes. Process in a blender until smooth. Return to the pan. Add the bread, remaining basil, and Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with additional cheese, oil, and pesto if desired.

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