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Sun-Dried Tomato-Basil Soup

Jimmy Mitchell, executive chef at Houston's Rainbow Lodge (#1 Birdcall, 713/861-8666), maintains a garden only steps from the restaurant's kitchen. This is his recipe for delicious, calorie-wise tomato soup.

Yield: 4 servings.
  • 8 Roma tomatoes 
  • 1 red onion, diced 
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 1 T. olive oil 
  • 12 oz. tomato juice 
  • 6 fresh basil leaves (or more to taste), cut into thin strips 
  • 6 sun-dried tomatoes, diced 
  • 1 tsp. salt 
  • 1/4 tsp. white pepper 
  • hot pepper sauce to taste 
  • celery leaf (optional) 

Drop Roma tomatoes in boiling water for about 20 seconds, then remove and place in a bowl of cold water; peel and seed when cool. In a medium skillet, sauté onion and garlic in olive oil until soft. Puree onion mixture, Roma tomatoes, and tomato juice in a food processor or blender. Combine mixture with basil, sun-dried tomatoes, salt, and pepper in a medium saucepan; heat thoroughly. Add hot pepper sauce to taste, and garnish with celery leaf, if desired. 

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