Tomato Soup with Peanut Butter and Basil

A Taste—Both Exotic and Familiar—in the Same Spoonful.

As a child growing up in the 50’s, a bowl of cream of tomato soup along with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich was a standard and my favorite lunch; especially when dunking a corner of the PB&J into the soup.

A great memory flashback for me is making a snow fort and sitting inside with my brother. Then—as if by magic—the queen of the snow fort appeared and handed us our favorite lunch. In the quietude within the whiteness of our fort, dunking and slurping our favorite lunch to this day is a sublime memory.

Many decades later I was playing around my kitchen and that memory popped up while making a tomato-basil bisque. What if I put peanut butter into recipe?

Dear reader, you must come back with me into our snow fort.

INGREDIENTS: Serves 5-6

  •  olive oil, 2 TBS.
  • onion, 1 cup, (1 small), diced
  • garlic, fresh, 4 tsp., (3 large cloves), minced
  • tomatoes, peeled*, 2 cans, 28 ounce total
  • salt, 1 tsp.
  • soy sauce, 2 TBS.
  • peanut butter, 1/4 cup, creamy style
  • milk, whole, 1 cup, or substitute

GARNISH:

  • fresh basil, 2 TBS., chopped
  • croutons (opt.)

* You can use in-season tomatoes, crushed tomatoes or canned sauce.

DIRECTIONS

  1. Prepare the garlic and onion.
  2. Soften them in a soup pot with the oil, about 3-5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the tomatoes with their liquid, salt, and soy sauce; bring to simmer, partially cover and cook for 20-25 minutes. Reserve the peanut butter and milk until next step.
  4. Draw off a little of the soup and stir in the peanut butter then add back to the soup along with the milk. Simmer for a few minutes more. Don’t bring to boil.
  5. If desired, use an immersion blender or processor to make slightly textured or fully purée.
  6. Serve garnished with chopped, fresh basil and croutons on occasion.
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