I’ve noticed that a lot of food blogs have been writing about soup lately (I especially enjoyed the Parsnip and Turnip Soup from Barrett of Too Many Chefs). And it seems only fitting – cold weather makes me want to consume hot things. And if you’re lucky enough to live in a moderate climate, you probably can’t quite grasp what it’s like to come inside from 5 degree weather (the low in Chicago this weekend is -12 degrees Fahrenheit). My tea intake has gone through the roof and I find myself choosing dinner menus that involve a satisfying soup. Today was no different. I met my boyfriend for a quick lunch at Go Roma. (For those readers who are not familiar with this restaurant chain, it’s basically quality Italian-style food at affordable prices… kind of like a Noodles & Company.) And I know most sophisticated foodie bloggers would look down on this commoner choice for dining, but I love it and I don’t think I need to defend that. (I also love the Mac & Cheese at Noodles & Co., but that’s beside the point. Perhaps I should work on a acquiring a more sophisticated palate…)
At any rate, my lunch choice was not a difficult one. Go Roma’s Tomato Basil soup is one of my absolute favorites. I’m a fan of Tomato Basil soup in general – I just love the creamy yet slightly chunky texture of the tomatoes mixed with bits of fresh basil, especially with a big piece of crusty bread. My previous Tomato Basil obsession was from La Madeleine, which I enjoyed immensely until it went out of business and is no longer in the area.
I have yet to master the Tomato Basil technique in my own kitchen, but for now I have no shame in feeding off of others’ excellence. We do have an excellent recipe on the site that is not particularly difficult and will certainly warm a freezing tummy. Go Roma adds a drizzle of basil-infused olive oil on top that really adds to the creamy texture.
4 C. fresh tomatoes, peeled, cored and chopped
4 C. good chicken stock
10 fresh basil leaves
1 C. heavy cream
1/4 lb. unsalted butter
Salt and pepper to taste
Combine tomatoes and stock in saucepan. Simmer 30 minutes. Puree, along with the basil leaves, in small batches, in a blender or food processor. Return to saucepan and add cream and butter, while stirring over low heat. Garnish with extra basil leaves and serve with your favorite bread.