Posts Tagged ‘Tomato Soup’

Tomato Soup Out of Season

Monday, June 1st, 2009

tomsoupweb

 

In the midst of spring’s bounty it seems ungrateful to complain, but I’m going to anyway.  I WANT FRESH TOMATOES! Knowing that they are coming soon just makes me more impatient.

 

Luckily, my neighbor Alice Parker returned from a trip to Georgia with this warming canned-tomato recipe courtesy of her hostesses down there. Roasting the canned tomatoes gives them a lovely flavor. I didn’t actually quite manage to caramelize mine (they started to burn so I turned the oven off in a hurry), but they were pretty terrific anyway.

 

Ingredients:

 

1 32-ounce can whole tomatoes (I could only find 28 ounce- or 35-ounce cans so I used the latter)

3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (or as needed)

salt and pepper to taste

1 sweet onion, diced (I used a large Vidalia onion)

2 to 4 cloves of garlic, minced

chopped celery and/or carrot to taste (optional; I used 1 stalk celery)

3 cups chicken broth

4 medium bay leaves

2 tablespoons butter (plus more if you like at the very end!)

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves

1/2 cup half and half (Sarah says do not omit this—or the butter!)

grated cheese as needed for garnish (optional)

 

Instructions:

 

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

 

Strain the tomatoes, reserving the juice. Using scissors cut the tomatoes into quarters. Spread the tomato chunks on a foil-covered baking sheet. Drizzle them with some of the olive oil, sprinkle them with salt and pepper, and roast them until caramelized (20 to 30 minutes).

 

Sarah notes that every oven is different and suggests that cooks test their own by watching the caramelizing process very carefully the first time. As I noted, I didn’t actually quite get there—but my tomatoes were still yummy.

 

Meanwhile, in a saucepan large enough to hold all of the soup, warm more olive oil over low to medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, plus the celery and/or carrot if you want them. Cook until the vegetables soften (about 10 minutes). Add the roasted tomatoes, the reserved tomato juice, the chicken broth, the bay leaves, and the butter. Bring to a boil, and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.

 

Remove the bay leaves, add the basil, and process the soup in a blender or food processor until smooth.  Do this in batches as the soup will be hot!

 

Return the soup to the pan and bring it to a boil. Add the half and half (plus a little more butter if you like) and cook just until the soup heats through. Serve with or without grated cheese.

 

Serves 4 to 6.

 

Notes from Sarah:

 

DO NOT leave anything out! In fact, as noted above the butter may be increased for last-minute flavor if your arteries don’t mind.

 

Don’t worry about the tomato seeds; they have a neat way of disappearing.

 

This is a super easy and fast recipe. It is best not made in a larger batch than you can eat in a few days.