By Request

In my circle of friends and family, people know I do a major Labor Day Weekend canning and preserving effort. Isn’t that the meaning of Labor Day? Isn’t this the weekend Mrs. Eugene Debs put up 14 bushels of tomatoes and peppers? So- if I break down and give you my two best recipes would you please stop calling and leave me to my canning?


       2 c  fresh basil leaves
       2  garlic cloves, — chopped
       2 oz pine nuts
       Salt and pepper
       1/2 c  Parmesan cheese
       1/2 c  olive oil

   Place the basil, garlic, pine nuts and 1/2 teaspoonBasil
   salt in the food processor, grind into a paste. Add
   the cheese and grind until thoroughly blended. With
   the machine running slowly add the oil. Adjust the
   seasonings.  Yield: 1 generous cup

I do not skimp on quality for this recipe- use really good 1st press olive oil, fresh pine nuts, basil and garlic. I find this recipe, complete with oil, freezes well. I freeze it in 1 meal size portions (about 1/2 cup is adequate for pasta for four) in small ziplock freezer bags, roll the air out and seal tight. They keep right through the winter.
SECRET (until now, you pests) CREAM OF TOMATO BASIL SOUP

In LARGE soup kettle

1 peck fresh tomatoes, chopped.
2 cups rough chopped fresh basil
2 cloves garlic

Simmer til completely soft. Run through food mill with fine holed disc. Return to kettle and add:

2 quarts tomato juice. I only use freshly made or juice I have previously
canned myself. If using store bought, get the best quality available, preferably boxed,     not canned.
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
4 TB Worchestershire sauce
2 TB salt
1 cup sweet sherry or port- best quality.
1/4 cup FINE chop (fine,fine,fine) fresh basil

Bring to boil. Funnel into hot sterile (dishwasher high heat) pint size canning jars.
Wipe edges clean. Seal with hot, sterile lids and rings. Work fast, always keeping everything as hot as you can handle. (It takes care to keep the soup almost boiling but not burning on bottom once you start canning process. Reheating is preferable to burning.) Invert jars on rack for 15 minutes, turn upright and wait for pop! This stores on the shelf right on up to the End of Days but we cut
through 30 pints by March. This recipe can be easily doubled.Arroyovistachardlabellg

To serve: Add I cup cream to pint of soup and heat just to simmer, stirring constantly. Top with baguette crouton and finest Parmesean Reggiano and a fresh basil leaf. Makes 4  3/4 cup servings

This recipe makes a nice hostess or holiday gift, esp. when you give it with a nice chunk of very good parmesean cheese and a bottle of J Lohr Arroyo Seco Chardonnay, 2003.

Excuse me. I have to get back to my tomatoes.

11 responses to “By Request

  1. Hold it! Just hold it for a damn minute! Who you think we are? Martha Washington? WTF is a peck? Sure, I could Google it, but I’d rather be

    Hoss 1, Vicki 0

    (I love pesto. There’s nothing better except abalone, New York steak, pork ribs, escargot, and Pop Tarts.)

  2. Pesto for pests!

    My mouth is watering…

  3. Hoss, a peck is a bunch! (er, right?)

    Vicky, how about if I just come for dinner instead????? 🙂

  4. Hoss- 4 pecks to the bushel. You knew that. I do not get this thing you have with abalone. Maybe I should try it.

    Bonnie and Laura- you can come to dinner. I’m sending Hoss pop tarts for his birthday.

  5. What is this “canning” that you and Angie speak of?

  6. Vicki's sister Betsy

    YES! Folks, this is simply the best soup you’ll ever eat.
    Vicki, you made this soup on my 25th birthday and I’ve been wanting (read, asking for) the recipe ever since! As I’m about to become exactly twice that age, I’ll take this as evidence that all good things come to those who wait (and nag their sister). Thanks!

  7. Dinner, Vicki?! I love you a bushel and a peck…and a hug around the neck!

    Hoisting a glass of J. Lo to sisterly nagging, Betsy!

  8. Yum! I’ve scribbled these recipes down on index cards and they have found their way into the very same binder that safely stores that molasses cookie recipe. Hmmmm…. me thinks I need to grow some basil.

  9. MMMM… fabulous! Thank you! 🙂 Now, can you give instructions on how to grow the basil and the tomatoes?

  10. I usually put up a good winter’s supply of pesto, but almost all of my basil died this year. It turned black and shriveled up. I AM PISSED.

  11. I love tomatoe soup, and this soup recipe sounds wonderful, Vicki! Now, where can I find a peck (don’t think I can handle a full bushel this year) of tomatoes near Seattle…

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