Summer Tomato Soup With Basil Cream
|Unsalted butter||2 Tablespoon|
|Shallots/1 medium onion||4 Large, thinly sliced|
|Salt||2 Teaspoon (adjust quantity as per taste)|
|Ripe tomatoes||3 Pound, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped (juicy)|
|Rich chicken stock||1 Pint|
|White pepper||To Taste|
|Heavy cream||1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs), chilled|
|Salt||1⁄2 Teaspoon (adjust quantity as per taste)|
|Loosely packed fresh basil||1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs), finely chopped|
In a heavy, medium-size saucepan, melt the butter just until it foams.
Add the shallots or onion, and saute them over medium heat just until wilted and very lightly colored, about 7 to 8 minutes.
Stir in the 2 teaspoons of salt and the tomatoes, cover tightly, and simmer until the tomatoes are soft, about 12 minutes.
Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel chopping blade and puree until smooth or, for more texture, pass the mixture through a food mill.
Return the puree to the saucepan, stir in the chicken stock and milk, season with white pepper, and heat gently for a few minutes.
Set aside to cool.
If desired, beat the heavy cream in a chilled bowl just until it forms soft peaks.
Stir in the salt and basil.
Otherwise, stir the chopped basil into the soup.
Ladle the soup into bowls, add a good-size dollop of the basil cream in the middle of each bowl, and place a couple of basil leaves in the center.
To make a decorative design, swirl the cream outward in a circular or sunburst pattern from the center, using the tip of a knife or a spoon handle.