Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Homemade Tomato Soup



Anyone that knows me will testify that I will not touch raw tomatoes with a nine foot pole. I don't know what it is about raw tomatoes, but I greatly, greatly dislike them. Maybe I should have said, "They are not my favorite?!" (see Practical Help for Your Picky Eater: Part IV). Because my aversion to raw tomatoes is so great, I am extremely hesitant with foods that contain cooked tomatoes. I tremble with fear that I will taste raw tomato.

One afternoon I was having lunch with a friend at a hip local restaurant. I could see another patron's bowl of tomato-basil soup and for some reason unknown to me, I ordered it. Long story short, it was the best, most amazing soup I had tried in a while. Ever since that day, which was about two years ago, I have been on a hunt for a tomato-basil soup recipe. Although I have scoured online cooking sites, cookbooks, and talked to friends, I have been unable to find a recipe where the ingredients looked like it would taste just as soup I tasted that afternoon. Until this recipe.

INGREDIENTS:

2 (14-ounce) cans chopped tomatoes
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus additional to drizzle
3 stalks celery, diced
2 small carrots, diced
1 yellow onion, diced
8 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups chicken broth
3 bay leafs
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1 cup heavy cream, optional

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Strain the chopped canned tomatoes, reserving the juices, and spread onto a baking sheet, generously season with salt and pepper, and generously drizzle with olive oil. (The original recipe called for drizzling with 1/4 cup olive oil, which I thought sounded like too much. Use your judgement, but feel free to use up to 1/4 cup. I used more like 2 tablespoons.)

2. Place cookie sheet in oven and roast for 15 minutes. Stir, redistribute, and roast for 10 additional minutes, or until tomatoes are caramelized.

3. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium-low heat. Add celery, carrot, onion, and garlic, and cook until softened, about 10 minutes. (The original recipe said to use chopped vegetables here. I threw all the vegetables into my food processor and pureed them instead. This may be some ultimate sin for making tomato soup, but I have no idea.)

4. Add the roasted tomatoes, reserved tomato juices, chicken broth, bay leaves, and butter. Simmer until vegetables are very tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.

5. Add basil and cream, if using. Puree with a hand held immersion blender until smooth.

Recipe from the FoodNetwork.com; Modifications mine.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

2 comments:

suz said...

What ever made you try it? It looks good, tomato soup being a fav and basil a fav spice. Win, win in my book. What about WW info on this one. Do you have it. if not, no worries.

Tara said...

It looks amazing! Did you know I'm in search of a tomato soup? I'll try this one out!!