As it is the beginning of Autumn here now my thoughts start turning to soups and stews. Warming dishes that comfort & revitalize. With the weather being so gorgeous here and the tomatoes still growing everywhere I decided on an End of Summer Soup with all the flavour of beautifully ripe tomatoes & our homegrown basil. The basil has gone slightly woody so The Washer Up has decided to make a basil infused olive oil to use up all the leaves before they get too tough. This means that we get to keep the wonderful flavour of basil to add to salads, soups and roasted dishes for a lot longer.
Basil & Garlic Infused Olive Oil Recipe
- a big bunch of basil leaves roughly chopped
- 3 or 4 cloves of garlic, chopped in their skins
- 500ml olive oil
- a pinch of salt
- a pinch of sugar
- Put the the basil & garlic in a large pan with the olive oil, salt & sugar and cook on a low heat, mashing occassionally with a potato masher, to release the flavours. (It should be lightly bubbling not burning)
- After 20 mins turn off the heat and leave it to cool at room temperature.
- You can then pour the oil & basil & garlic pulp in to jug to decant into your chosen jar/oil bottle.
We had enough to pour most of the oil into an oil pourer and the rest of the oil and the pulp into a jar to use in cooking. This should be kept in an airtight jar in the fridge. The oil kept in the fridge will harden slightly with the cold but it is still easy to use.
Easy Tomato Soup Recipe
Serves 2 Vegan
- 3 tbsp olive oil (basil oil if you have made it)
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 red pepper chopped
- 2 cloves garlic chopped
- 5 large ish tomatoes roughly chopped
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 3 or 4 tbsp of the basil & garlic oil pulp (or a big handful of chopped fresh basil leaves) Leave some for the garnish.
- 750ml veg stock
- 1 tbsp salt
- 2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- Heat the (basil) oil in a large pan over a medium low heat, add the onions & peppers and cook for about 10 mins until tender.
- Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Then add the tomatoes, sugar, tomato paste, basil & garlic pulp(see recipe above) or fresh basil, veg stock, salt & pepper & stir well.
- Bring the soup to a boil then lower the heat & simmer, uncovered for about 30 mins.
- Blend the soup (carefully you don’t want hot red soup everywhere!) to the consistency you require – I like it to still have some texture to it, not too smooth. Taste for seasoning & add more basil pulp if you want.
- Ladle into warmed bowls, drizzle with basil oil, & serve with lots of crusty bread.
This is a really tasty easy recipe that is good for you and will make you feel better, bring some sunshine into your life & it is also great if you’ve got a hangover.. Not that I’d know obviously!!