Creamy Tomato Soup with Goat Cheese
This simple tomato soup is richly satisfying yet delicately flavored. The tangy goat cheese, toasty pine nuts and fresh basil retain their individual flavors and complement the rich tomato flavor at the same time. A slice of broiled tomato topped with an additional bit of goat cheese and a sprig of raw basil adds a fresh note and makes an attractive garnish.
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 medium sweet onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 can (28-ounce) diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
- 6 large fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup water (optional)
- 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
- Optional garnish (see recipe notes)
- Broiled tomato slices
- Crumbled goat cheese
- Basil sprigs
Melt the butter in a 3-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté, stirring frequently, until the onion is soft and translucent and the garlic tender, but not browned. Add the salt and a few grinds of black pepper.
Add the tomatoes, along with their liquid and bring the mixture to a slow simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes.
Add the milk and goat cheese and continue cooking until the cheese has melted. Add the basil and stir until wilted.
Using a hand-held immersion blender (or conventional blender), purée the mixture until smooth. Add the water to thin slightly if desired, stir in the pine nuts and keep warm until served.
Makes 4-1/2 cups
To make the garnish, preheat the broiler. Slice 1 or 2 medium tomatoes into 3/8-inch thick slices (you'll need one slice for each serving). Arrange them in a single layer on a foil-lined broiler pan.
Drizzle each slice with a bit of olive oil and balsamic vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Broil 2 inches from the heat until lightly browned and soft (watch them carefully). Remove from the broiler and top each with 1 teaspoon of goat cheese. Return to the broiler for 1 minute.
Float one cheese-topped slice of tomato in each bowl of soup, garnish with a fresh basil sprig and serve.