Text by Francisco Collazo
Photo by Julie Schwietert Collazo
With all the excitement of our election night blogging experience at NPR, it’s taken us awhile to follow up on a request from a student in my cooking class to post a recipe for my cream of basil soup.
We first tasted cream of basil soup at the extraordinary Hotel Villa Ganz in Guadalajara, Mexico a couple months ago. At the time, we weren’t sure what the soup was. We spent 10 minutes guessing the ingredients and finally realized that the unexpected flavor of the soup was attributable to basil. An easy soup to make, and one that’s surprising and pleasing to guests because of its uniqueness, I decided to replicate the soup by devising my own recipe…and adding a final flourish.
2 Tablespoons of olive oil
3 cups of broth (vegetable or chicken)
1 clove of garlic, minced (or in a paste after roasting in the oven, which is even better!)
1 cup of heavy cream
1.5 cups of basil leaves, chopped fine
1 medium onion, minced
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon of anise seed (optional)
chile serrano to garnish (1 per serving) (optional)
1. In a saucepan or soup pot, sautee the minced onion and the garlic in the 2 Tb. of olive oil just until golden.
2. Add basil to the onion and garlic mixture; sautee for two minutes.
3. Add broth to the basil/onion/garlic mixture. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat. Simmer for five minutes then remove from heat and allow to cool.
4. Once the soup is cool, puree in a blender or using an immersion blender.
5. After blending, return the soup to the pot and heat on medium.
6. Add the heavy cream and anise seed. Cook until the soup thickens somewhat; stir continuously during this process.
7. Remove from heat and serve.
8. If you’d like to make the dish slightly more impressive, roast serrano chiles on the stove and garnish each bowl of soup with a single chile (uncut and unseeded).
9. Serve and enjoy!