When I was just a wee thing, one of our favorite late-night haunts was Minnie's on Lower Queen Anne. There weren't a lot of places that would take underage kids, and we were so over Denny's and Beth's. So when we stumbled across a place that served brie and a Tomato-Basil Soup that was to die for, we thought we were wearing the fanciest pants in town.
But then I went to Minnie's as an adult, and realized it was just another hole-in-the-wall that just happened to have an amazing Tomato-Basil Soup recipe. So after Heather tracked that recipe down, we never went back and it eventually closed.
Maybe this soup isn't exactly the same - I think Minnie's used a lot more butter and cream, but hey, nothing is stopping you from doing that, too, with this versatile recipe.
2 T. butter
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 28-oz. cans whole tomatoes
1/2 c. heavy cream
1/2 c. Parmesan cheese
1 c. basil, chopped chiffonade
Heat butter in a large stockpot. Add onion and cook for about 5 minutes, until soft. Add garlic for the last minute.
Add tomatoes, bring to a low boil and simmer for 35 minutes, covered. (I usually pulse the tomatoes in a food processor before adding them, but you can just add them whole to the pot and crush them with your spoon since you'll be blending it all later.) Stir a couple of times throughout cooking.
Remove pot from heat and let cool about 5 minutes. Puree soup in a blender in batches, then return to a new stockpot with cream and reheat. Add Parmesan and stir until melted, then add basil, salt and pepper to taste, and serve.
Note: This last time I accidentally used the Italian-style tomatoes with basil, and it turned out quite tasty!