It was a drizzly summer morning when Chef Joy called to say she had an audition and could she come by to try out her recipe. I said "Sure!" So, later that morning Chef Joy swept in with her wicker basket. I sat across the kitchen island from her as she said "I have an audition with _______ to be an instructor and I have15 minutes from start to finish. I'm going to prepare my creamy tomato-bacon soup. OK, so time me!" I glanced at the clock "OK, go!"
As I sat across from her, Chef Joy entertained with her secrets to the best, easiest tomato soup. I watched as she piled fresh basil leaves on top of each other, rolled them and them sliced the basil "cigar" into shreds known as Chiffonade (French for little rags). She bustled around the kitchen like a blonde, peppy Italian grandmother. Within 15 minutes I was inhaling the homey scent of a bowl of warm creamy tomato-bacon soup. It was the best tomato soup I've ever had. She's going to nail this gig.
Note: I also tried the leftover soup the next day which turned out sunny and bright. I had it cold for lunch and it was spectacular.
Chef Joy's Rustic Tomato-Bacon Soup
28 ounce can of stewed tomatoes (this is the secret! Be sure the label says stewed tomatoes)
1/2 cup heavy cream
6 slices of cooked, crunchy bacon
1/2 cup (or 10-12 leaves) of chopped fresh basil
(toasted whole grain bread for croutons)
Roll basil leaves and slice into thin shreds. Set aside.
Toast whole grain, seeded bread or other hearty bread. Set aside.
Cook bacon until crunchy. Drain on paper towels, set aside.
Pour tomates into soup pot on stovetop. Break up tomato pieces with your hand, mushing the pieces into a rustic sauce. You can also use a potato masher or the back of a spatula for this. Heat on medium to high heat.
Add cream and crunchy bacon.
When heated, add basil. Stir.
Serve warm with toasted croutons.
Enjoy! Thanks, Chef Joy!