Cream of Basil soup is essentially a rich and thick soup dish made with basil, a popular culinary herb, as the main ingredient. The soup owes its creamy and smooth texture to the use of heavy cream, butter, milk and oil as essential ingredients. Basil is a highly regarded herb in Alternate Medicine and it is associated with various health benefits. Basil soups are often considered a powerful home remedy for a range of everyday physical discomforts.
Cream of Basil Soup Recipe Overview
Ingredients: General ingredients used in the preparation of Creamy Basil Soup include basil (fresh), broth (mostly chicken and preferably homemade), butter, heavy cream, oil, milk and a light seasoning of salt and pepper. Vegetables and meats are often added to the soup to make it more filling and to add taste to it. Onion, tomato, shallots, celery, potato, leeks, peas, corn, mushroom, chicken and ham are some of the most popular additions. Additional herbs and spices, in controlled quantities, give the soup aroma and flavor. Rosemary, thyme, garlic, cumin, ginger, paprika, coriander and chili paste, to name a few, are common additions.
Preparation Overview: Cream of Basil Soup is a fairly easy preparation and it takes about 20 minutes to make 3 to 4 servings. Basil (and other meats and/or vegetables, if used) is cleaned, chopped as required and sautéed in butter or oil for a few minutes. The cream, butter, oil and milk are combined together and mixed with the sautéed ingredients. The concoction thus obtained is blended for a few seconds and then transferred to a cooking pot along with all the other ingredients. The pot is placed over direct heat and the soup is cooked till it has achieved a thick and creamy texture and consistency.
Cream of Basil Soup Recipe Variations
Creamy Basil Soup is a very versatile preparation and there are many variations of the same. Creamy Basil Tomato Soup, Creamy Basil Zucchini Soup, Creamy Asparagus Basil Soup and Creamy Mushroom, Chicken and Basil Soup are some of the most popular versions of the soup. More general variations are the diet Creamy Basil soup, the lactose intolerant-friendly version and the Vegan Creamy Basil Soup. To make the Vegan variant, meat and meat products as well as dairy products are completely eliminated from the soup. The base is made with coconut milk and olive oil. Similarly, for the lactose intolerant-friendly variant, milk and milk products are completely replaced with coconut milk.
The diet version of the creamy soup is made with light cream, margarine and skimmed milk instead of heavy cream, butter and regular milk. Also meats and/or vegetables are boiled or baked, not fried. This drastically cuts down the calorie and fat levels of the Cream of Basil Soup.
The Creamy Basil Soup is often served very hot, as a starter. Fuller versions of the soup, most often those with egg or rice noodles, are also served as a part of the main course, or even a wholesome meal. Toasted French or Italian bread (generally buttered) makes a good accompaniment. Cheese and croutons are often used as toppings and garnishes consist of chopped chives and/or coriander or mint leaves. The soup is sometimes chilled beforehand and served cold.
Creamy Basil Soup Nutrition
An average 200 gram serving of the Cream of Basil Soup contains about 450 calories, 45.4 grams of fat and 140 milligrams of cholesterol.