This recipe for homemade tomato-almond soup is unique and wonderful. It tastes so fresh, because we use tomatoes from our garden. It has an unusual, gourmet taste to it. The almonds provide a bread-crumb effect. It seems like something that would be served at an expensive, authentic Italian restaurant. You need to like tomatoes in order to like this. We like it well enough to make multiple batches and freeze them. It tastes the very best with french bread dipped in it.
3 Tbsp. butter
4 c. chopped vine-ripened tomatoes*
2 c. vegetable or chicken broth (more or less if desired)
2/3 c. light cream
1/4 c. ground almonds
1 tsp. sugar
Dried basil to taste (shred fresh basil if desired)
Salt and pepper to taste
French bread for dipping
Melt butter in a large saucepan. Add tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes, until the skins start to wrinkle. Season with salt and pepper. Add broth, bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, under a preheated broiler, toast ground almonds until they are golden brown. This will take only 1 or 2 minutes, so watch them closely.
Remove the soup from heat, place in a food processor or blender, and blend the mixture to form a smooth consistency. Alternatively, mash the soup with a potato masher. Pass the soup through a strainer to remove any skin and seeds. Place soup in saucepan and return to heat. Stir in cream, almonds, sugar and basil. Serves 4.
*This recipe is best made with garden fresh tomatoes. Store-bought tomatoes will give you a watered-down flavor. I chop, bag and freeze many of the tomatoes from my garden just so I can make this soup during the off-season. If you must use store-bought tomatoes, you could probably add an 8-ounce can of tomato sauce to increase the tomato flavor.