There’s something about the onset of Autumn that brings out a deep need for me to make soup. Winter has its slow cooked meals and stews, summer is for smoking and grilling and spring is for whatever fresh greens might be coming up, but Autumn and Fall are for soups, the heartier the better. The closer to winter it gets, the heartier the soups get, but right at this point, when temperatures in the early mornings are in the fifties and afternoons are in the eighties, it’s time for lighter fare, usually vegetable or fish. It’s a time of year I wait for, and now it’s here.
I got the idea for this dish from my herb garden. My basil has grown into a jungle and the oregano is doing fairly well. With ten pounds of herbs outside, I figured I’d best find a way to start putting a dent in it. Since basil and tomatoes go so well together, it seemed obvious that I needed to toss a tomato-basil soup together and I wanted a thin soup to dip the crusty rolls in. My wife is a huge fan of zucchini, so that addition was a no-brainer. The rest was just seat of my pants cooking at its best, the kind that produces something that is far more than you expected, but with very little effort. In a way it’s the perfection of keeping the soul of your ingredients pure, and purely enjoyable as well.
I hope you try and enjoy!
- 8 cups vegetable stock
- 1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes, with juices
- 1/2 of one medium onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/8 cup port wine
- 1 zucchini, quartered and cut into 1/2 inch thick wedges
- 2 red bell peppers, cut in 1/2-inch strips
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil (or 3 tbsp dried basil)
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh oregano
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Crusty bread or rolls to sop up juices with
- Put stock, tomatoes, onion, garlic and port wine in a medium or large sauce pan. Add a pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper. place over medium heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for approximately 10 minutes.
- Add remaining ingredients and return to a simmer for another 10 minutes. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper if needed. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes. Garnish with a basil sprig and serve with crusty bread.
- Share and Enjoy!
What I would have done differently had I thought of it at the time:
This is more a question of “What I did wrong that I didn’t mention to you fine people when this was posted”. In my original brainstorm for this soup, I figured I’d make some Parmesan crisps to use as a garnish. Unfortunately they didn’t help the soup at all. As a matter of fact, Parmesan doesn’t help this soup at all. It’s better without it. So for your satisfaction, I omitted that portion of the recipe.
Links to other recipes like this: