Sean's Basil Tomato Soup
8 medium sized tomatoes, blanched and skinned (To blanch - boil water, dip in tomatoes for a minute, remove to an ice bath and peel)
1 tablespoon of olive oil
2 stocks of celery with leaves, chopped
1 green onion with stocks, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
1 tsp of chopped fresh hot pepper or a few hot pepper flakes
1/2 tsp montreal steak spice
2-3 drops of liquid smoke (Optional)
2 frozen pesto cubes (1/4 cup if fresh)... thawed of course!
1/8 cup tomato paste
4 cups of chicken stock
1/8 cup of sour cream
freshly ground pepper
1 cup of basil lightly chopped
Grated parmesan cheese - or another type of hard cheese
Peel and/or roughly chop celery, onion, garlic and hot pepper;
In a medium pot, add olive oil and set to medium heat;
Once oil is shimmering, add tomatoes and all chopped vegetables and spices (minus salt and pepper);
Cook for 10 minutes or until slightly soft
Add thawed pesto, tomato paste, stock and sour cream.
Stir and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes with the lid on.
Remove the pot from the burner, season with salt and pepper and add the basil leaves (leave some for a garnish).
Using a hand blender, pulse the soup until smooth. Season again before dividing between your serving bowls.
Grate cheese over the soup and spinkle the remainder of basil leaves over top ... enjoy!