I love this time of year in Texas. The weather is perfect My herb garden is planted and I’m already reaping its rewards with basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, sage and parsley. One of my favorite herbs is basil. I plant my basil when I know all the freezing weather is behind us and then I just pick the fragrant leaves as I need them.
Basil is such a fresh herb. It’s bright and fresh and totally gets me in the spirit of spring and summer. I love basil fresh on salads, pesto or cooked into a rich sauce, but I really love it in tomato basil soup, with cream or without. In this recipe for Tomato Basil Soup with Turkey Meatballs, I opt for no cream. I keep it simple but love to give it just a little kick with a fresh Fresno chili in both the soup and the meatballs. The meatballs have almost the same ingredients that the soup has. This means that neither overpowers the other. When tomatoes are in season, I use fresh tomatoes, but right now when my tomatoes plants aren’t producing yet, I use good canned tomatoes. Another tasty ingredient I like to use is roasted red peppers.
Even though I opted not to use cream in this recipe, you could totally add it in, along with Parmesan cheese and crushed red pepper. You could even add some fresh goat cheese or cream. This recipe is totally open to your own interpretation.
You can also make the soup a day or two ahead and make the meatballs when you are ready to serve. And depending on how fancy you want to get, you can put the meatballs in the soup as it heats up or put the beautifully browned meatballs right in the bowl of soup when you are ready to serve.