Sacrifice is what's needed for a great recipe and my wife sacrificed last night when she somehow punctured the meaty part of her palm with a small knife. Although this soup is very red, I can assure those non-anthropophagists (and I'm not entirely certain about Biggles) that no animal or spousal bits and pieces or byproducts are in the final pot.
If she'd made this soup with Winter tomatoes, the soup might have needed that red boost. Winter tomatoes in most of the Northern Hemisphere are sad, sad things. They smell like... nothing and the flavor usually matches.
The best, most flavorful, and reddest tomatoes for a soup in the winter are those that come from a can and were put in the can RIPE in the summer. That's what was used for this soup. One of the cans of tomatoes she used packed the fruits in paste, but the other did not. I'm not sure it matters. If you don't have tomatoes packed in paste, add some of your own or let the soup simmer longer to concentrate the flavors.
This is a thin soup, which is great for loosening up the sinuses. Make a big pot of this soup and enjoy it with grilled cheese on a snowy day, preferably after sledding down a hill into a snowbank.
So how exactly did the Redhead stab herself in the hand? I saw the whole thing, and I still don't know how it happened. She was putting a small knife away somewhat casually, and it bit her, point first. It's a good reminder to always respect the blade, because the blade knows when you're not paying close enough attention.
The Redhead's Tomato Basil Soup
1 medium onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 32oz. cans whole or crushed tomatoes, with juice
15-20 fresh basil leaves
1 teaspoon dried basil
2 minced scallions
4 cups vegetable stock
2 bay leaves
2 cups red wine of your choice (we used a California Zinfindel)
salt and pepper to taste
Heat the oil in the bottom of a stock pot or dutch oven. add the onions and garlic and sautee over medium-high heat until the onions are translucent, but before they take on much color.
Crush the tomatoes and break them up into very small pieces. Add the tomatoes with their juice and the stock and stir well.
Mince the fresh basil and add it and the dried basil to the pot. Stir well. Add the wine.
Simmer for 20 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning. Blend with immersion blender or in a food processor. Serve.
Simple soup, simple pleasure, and done right nobody gets hurt.