Old-Time Summer Tomato Soup


  • ½ cup (tight-packed) torn fresh basil leaves
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 medium onions, finely chopped
  • Salt and fresh-ground black pepper
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 lbs. local, fresh, ripe tomatoes (do not use Romas), chopped
  • 2 14-ounce cans of chicken broth
  • 4 cups homemade broth or two-14 ounce cans chicken or vegetable broth and 2/3 cup water
  • Generous ¼ tsp ground cinnamon, or to taste


Combine the basil in a small cup. Crush leaves lightly until they become fragrant, and set aside.

Film the bottom of a 6-quart pot with olive oil. Heat over medium-high heat. Stir in the onions, season with salt and pepper, and cook until the onions are golden brown, 5 to 8 minutes, stirring often. Add the reserved basil and the garlic. Continue cooking until their aromas open up, about 30 seconds.

Add the tomatoes. Stir in the broth and bring the soup to a lively bubble. Cover and cook for 5 to 10 minutes. You want to keep the bright fresh tomato flavor, so it is better to undercook. Check the seasonings. Cool for 10 minutes, and then lightly puree the soup. Serve it hot or cold.
Serves 3 to 4.

From The Splendid Table’s How to Eat Supper by Lynne Rossetto Kasper and Sally Swift

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