Tomato-Gin Soup
from the kitchen of Sharmagne Leland-St. John

2 tablespoons butter
2 leeks, sliced using only the white bulb
1 clove garlic, minced
1 carrot, sliced
1 tablespoon fresh basil, finely chopped
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon light brown sugar
A pinch of black pepper
A pinch of smoked cayenne
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
6 tomatoes, coarsely chopped (2 ½ pounds)
3 cups chicken stock, boiling
4 ½ cups good quality gin
Sour cream
Sprigs of basil for garnish

Trim the leeks and rinse well under cold running water.

In large soup kettle, melt the butter over low heat.

Sauté the leeks and garlic for approximately 5 minutes
or until softened.  Stir in the carrots, basil, salt, sugar,
pepper, cayenne and bay leaf. Cook while stirring for
1 minute. Stir in the flour and cook for an additional 30
seconds.  While stirring constantly, add the tomatoes,
stock and gin.   Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and
simmer for 35 minutes. Pass the soup through a moulee
to remove the skins and seeds. Return to the saucepan;
reheat gently.

Adjust seasoning if necessary. Ladle into shallow soup

Garnish with a dollop of sour cream and a sprig of basil.


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