I used to make this soup all the time - it was inspired by a tomato, basil and asiago cheese soup at the now defunct Franklin Street Brewing Company in Detroit. I loved it so much I started experimenting until I got it right, but I have refined it over the years. It's easy as can be, and wonderfully comforting on cold autumn nights.
Jen's Tomato Basil and Asiago Soup
In a heavy bottomed pot, warm a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. Add 1/2 of a small onion, finely diced (about 1/4 cup) and saute until translucent. Add one clove of garlic, just lightly smashed with the side of a knife... I love how keeping it basically whole allows the flavor of the garlic to come out, but it's much more subtle than chopped garlic.
Tonight I used one box of POMI crushed tomatoes (26.45 oz - you can certainly substitute an equal amount of canned crushed tomatoes), two cups of organic chicken stock, and a tablespoon of dry vermouth. Bring this to a simmer and add salt and pepper to taste. Cook over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes, stirring well. Finally, add about 1/2 cup each finely shredded aged asiago cheese and fresh basil leaves, cut into a chiffonade. Stir well to incorporate and let cook another five minutes. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper if needed. Garnish with more fresh basil leaves.
(And if you're wondering, the grilled cheese sandwich is cave-aged gruyere and Cabot Vermont-style extra sharp white cheddar on wholegrain wheat bread. YUM.)Posted by jenblossom on November 06, 2004 | TrackBack