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Pastor Phil’s Tomato Basil Soup

Someone has said that Pastor Phil’s Tomato Basil Soup is better than La Madeline’s® but I think that is because we always serve it with a grilled cheese sandwich at the café and life just doesn’t get any better than that. So perhaps La Madeline’s® with grilled cheese would give us a run for the money – though not at two bucks a bowl. At any rate both our soups beat Campbell’s in a can. Here’s how you can make it for less than an hundred and I also give you two culinary terms to toss about in casual conversation.

I use Cento Italian style tomatoes because they have a thick sauce and richer flavor than your typical canned tomato. If you were to use a canned tomato with a thinner sauce I would enrich it with tomato paste.

Pastor Phil’s Tomato Basil Soup
(Possibly better than La Madeline’s® and certainly less expensive)

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp butter
1 small onion peeled and diced
1 celery stalk diced
1 carrot peeled and diced
2 cloves garlic minced
2 35 oz cans Cento Italian Style Peeled Tomatoes
Bouquet Garni *
¼ cup sugar
1 pt. heavy whipping cream
Basil Chiffonade *- reserve stalk and top leaves
Salt & fresh ground pepper

  • In heavy soup pot melt butter with olive oil
  • Sauté onions, celery and carrot until soft – about 10 min.
  • Stir and add garlic cooking additional 5 minutes
  • Add Bouquet Garni
  • Add Tomatoes with juice to pan breaking up whole tomatoes
  • Stir in sugar, 1 tsp salt and a few turns of a pepper mill
  • Cover and Simmer 1 hour – stirring occasionally
  • Cool and refrigerate overnight
  • Remove bouquet garni
  • Puree soup in blender
  • Push mixture through a food mill or strainer – discard solids
  • Return to soup pot and whisk in cream
  • Add Basil stalk with tops
  • Heat to a simmer – do not boil
  • Adjust seasoning
  • Serve with Basil chiffonade and freshly grated Parmesan Reggiano – and a grilled cheese sandwich!

* Bouquet Garni
1 bay leaf , 3 sprigs thyme, 4 large sprigs parsley (including stalks), 4 inch piece celery stalk with leaves
two 4 inch pieces leek (green part)
Place the bay leaf, thyme, parsley and celery on one piece of green leek. Cover with the remaining piece of green leek. Tie securely with fine string, leaving a length of string attached so that the bouquet garni can be easily retrieved.
* Chiffonade
Stack the leaves one on top of the other and roll tightly into a cylinder. Slice the cylinders of leaves crosswise into thin strips.