Soup season is around the corner. Sooner than later, pumpkins will be all the rage, and garden tomatoes will be something to look forward to next year. In the meantime, grab as many homegrown goodies as you can carry out the door. Farmer's markets are advertising scratch and dent sales and plans are underway for next year's harvest.
Though farmer's markets will shut down for the season, all is not lost. Big city markets like Whole Foods will carry fabulous fresh produce. If you live in a small town, hopefully, you'll be lucky enough to have a little market like Paducah's Midtown Market. Midtown supports local growers. They carry specialty items like gluten-free products. One of the best things about the market is the deli. Guess what, the deli has homemade tomato basil soup every day!
If you're interested in the little market's back story...Midtown Market was formerly Myrick's grocery store. Myrick's was one of the last true 'mom-and-pop' stores in the city. The store was managed by Lester and Charles Myrick. Lester was Charles' uncle and the two ran the store together, side-by-side, for 53 years.
This reminds me, Myrick's is a featured business in a book I'm reading by local author Tracey Buchanan, Toward the Corner of Mercy and Piece. If you haven't ordered a copy of this funny, quirky book, I'd recommend it. The character, Minerva Place is a hoot.
Tomato basil soup is a great recipe to include in your arsenal of good soup recipes. Thanks to my Aunt Marge for sharing.
2 T. olive oil
One purple onion (diced)
Three cloves of garlic (minced)
28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes
Four cups of chicken stock
Small can of tomato paste
Salt and pepper
T. of Cavendars Greek seasoning
3/4 cup of heavy cream
Handful of chopped fresh basil (dried will work too)
1/4 cup of Parmesan Cheese
Heat the oil in a Dutch oven. Add the onion and a dash of kosher salt. Saute until soft. Add the garlic. Simmer until you smell the aroma. Stir in the tomatoes, chicken broth, dash or two of pepper, and Greek seasoning. Bring to a boil. Simmer for 15 minutes. Add the tomato paste. Puree with an emulsion blender or mixer. Add the heavy cream and basil. Simmer on low for a few minutes. Serve with sprinkled Parmesan cheese on top.
Recipe for Parmesan Croutons
Ingredients: Serves Six
Six pieces of bread (use what you have on hand) Cut into square chunks
Toss in 3 T. EVOO, tsp. garlic powder, 1/2 tsp. dried basil, 1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese
Either bake, sauté on the stovetop, or air fry. You're looking for a golden brown color for the right amount of crunch.
Top your soup with these delicious crunchy morsels.