Basil…don’t you just love anything with basil, AND tomatoes in the summer? It’s like a little tap dance of the mouth. And being an anise fan, I dig the sweetish notes to it. Basil means “King” in Greek, and I once had a crush on a boy named Basil during Swing Class, East-Coast Style, at Harvard. Should have asked him out. Darn!
Of course, for my July soup selection, I couldn’t NOT do the Cold Basil Soup
Remember that my wonderful mentor sent a remarkable Christmas package that contained a gift that surprised me: a cookbook. I have been out of favor with cookbooks for the past five years now, in the past two years relying solely on revised concoctions mused from online sources. Yet this one, stole my heart. Twelve Months of Monastery Soups. A Benedictine monk authored this beloved edition that relies heavily on French cuisine and a sense of soulishness. What I cherished about this cookbook was that many of the selections felt foreign to me, and featured seasonal fare plant based and flavorful. I promised to make a soup from each month following the recipe exactly as written with no substitutions or creativity.
Place in a blender:
2 medium cucumbers, peels, seeded and sliced (I did this one day in advance!), 3 green beels, sliced, 4 medium diced tomatoes, 1 onion, 2 garlic cloves, 25 basil leaves
After blending, pour into a soup pot, and then add 5 cups cold water, them salt and pepper to taste, then 1 16-ounce yogurt…mix it up with a big spoon and chill (3 hours minimum) before serving with basil leaves.
I wised up after my last carrot soup and waiting 48 hours before serving it up, poured over broiled French bread with a little garlic infused oil brushed before roasting it. The pungency of the basil tasted less forward than initially hoped, perhaps due to the vibrancy of the pepper. Isn’t it peculiar how one individual vegetable can increase and dramatically shift flavors depending on its ripeness and season?
Would I make this soup again? Well, my guest sure slopped it up, but I am not super-uber-head over heels about this one. Perhaps it was because I was looking at a pureed yellow zucchini soup…..
Anyway…super good with garlic and I used the left overs poured over polenta….now, that hit the basil soft spot!
Any easy summer soups you’ve been enjoying???