Serves 5-6
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 35-40 minutes
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: Italian
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, peeled and chopped small
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 TBSP crushed dried basil leaves
  • 1 large apple with skin, cored and pureed (or 1 cup apple sauce)
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored and diced small
  • 4 pounds fresh tomatoes, chopped small (or four 14-ounce cans of whole tomatoes with juice)
  • 4 cups chicken stock (may substitute with vegetable stock)
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 TBSP butter
  • ¼ cup uncooked Orzo pasta (it looks like rice grains and is sold next to regular pasta)
  • Some pesto sauce on the side
  1. Roughly chop the tomatoes in a food processor and set it aside (If using canned whole tomatoes instead, process them with on/off pulse with their juice).
  2. Remove the core and seeds of a red pepper, small dice it and set aside.
  3. Core the unpeeled apple and use a food processor or blender to puree it. Set aside.
  4. Heat olive oil in a large stockpot over medium low heat and sauté diced onions until translucent.
  5. Add the minced garlic, black pepper and crushed basil leaves, sauté for another 2-3 minutes over low heat until aromatic.
  6. Add the pureed apple and diced red peppers. Stir and cook over medium low heat until thickened, about 4-5 minutes.
  7. Add the chopped tomatoes, salt, sugar and chicken stock and stir. Bring to a boil over medium heat and continue to cook uncovered for 15-20 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Stir a few times during this time.
  8. Turn off the heat and use a hand-held immersion blender to puree some of the soup, leave some chunky pieces for texture. (This step may be done in a food processor or a blender instead. Just cool the soup for 10 minutes and then process with pulse action leaving some chunky texture in the soup).
  9. Add the Orzo pasta and 2 TBSP butter, stir to melt the butter and bring the soup to a low boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer without covering for 10 minutes or until the pasta is tender and the soup has thickened. Stir a few times during this time. For a thicker consistency simply let the soup cook uncovered for a few more minutes.
  10. Serve this delicious Tomato Basil Soup with a spoonful of pesto sauce and slices of toasted crusty bread. Some other delicious sides are grilled cheese sandwiches orgarlic bread.
Recipe by Persian Mama at