Basil has been around for over 4,000 years, although native to India the herb has been globalised and is being used in kitchens across the world. Throughout history, basil was believed to have almost magical powers. The herb was also believed to provide strength during religious fasting. The ancient Egyptians used the herb for embalming and in Greece, the herb was a symbol of mourning.
Basil is believed to not only have culinary uses but also medicinal with claims that it helps poor digestion, headaches and the common cold.
Basil is the most delicate leafed herb and can bruise very easily. It adds a lovely little kick to sauces and stews and pasta. The best way to harvest this is similar to coriander, pick it, don’t wash it, pop it in a plastic bag and freeze. You can then use it and add it to dishes any time of the year. You have to replant this every year from fresh seeds, it is very easy to grow. Here at the hotel, we grow it in pots of compost so Gill can cut and add to salad leaves.
This week Gill has included her delicious tomato and basil soup/ sauce recipe for you all to try at home
Tomato Soup/Sauce recipe
- 8 General Fresh Tomatoes cut into ¼’s
- 1 x tin chopped tomatoes
- 1 x tin of tomato puree
- 2 x sprigs fresh or frozen basil
- Ground pepper
- 1 x red onion chopped and softly fried
- 2 x stock cubes, chicken or vegetable
- 1 x heaped tsp of easy garlic
- 1 x tbsp of sugar
- Cup of water
- Add all ingredients to a pan and bring it to the boil until it has reduced by a 1/3
- Blitz with a handheld blender
- Then strain through a sieve to get rid of the seeds and skin
- Now it’s ready to put in a jar, then seal and cool (make sure to write the date on the jar). Once cool, store in your fridge for up to 1 month.
This is then your quick soup lunch, pasta sauce, pizza base sauce, curry base sauce plus lots more.
We hope you have learned something new today and for those of you who try out any of the recipes be sure to tag @GrimscoteManor in photos of your delicious soup. We’d love to see them!