I really wanted to begin talking about this soup recipe by describing the chill in the air, the changing of leaves and the love of “soup weather”; but come on, the real reason I picked this particular recipe is because I got to buy and use a new immersion blender! What is an immersion blender? A small, handheld boat motor that can blend soups right in the sauce pan. I mean what could go wrong with a razor-sharp blade attached to a shaft spinning at a million RPMs? I think I actually grunted like Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor when I used it.
Well, I guess we need to get to the food. I have been really craving tomato soup lately. I don’t know why – maybe I’m getting ready to hibernate. Well, I did my little Google search on tomato soup recipes and bingo! Found one by Michael Chiarello that sounded easy, tasty and I get to use above said man blender. I had a few reservations about the recipe when I first read it – roasting canned, diced tomatoes? What? But it worked, and worked well. Let’s get started.
Creamy Tomato Soup
1(28-ounce) can chopped tomatoes
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 stalks celery, diced
2 small carrots, diced
1 yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cup chicken broth
2 bay leaves
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup heavy cream
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Strain the chopped canned tomatoes, reserving the juices, and spread onto a baking sheet, season with salt and pepper, to taste, drizzle with 1/4 cup of the olive oil and roast until caramelized, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a saucepan, heat remaining olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the celery, carrot, onion and garlic, cook until softened, about 10 minutes.
Add the roasted chopped canned tomatoes, reserved tomato juices, chicken broth, bay leaves and butter. Simmer until vegetables are very tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Add basil and cream, if using. Remove bay leaves and puree with a hand held immersion blender (YEAH!) until smooth.
I served this with parmesan croutons. Just take cubes of good bread and mix in freshly grated parmesan cheese, salt, cracked pepper and a drizzle of olive oil. Spread on a sheet pan and bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes. Since I had some parmesan left over, I made some crackers that Josh had described on a previous post but without the cool heart shape. Ray and I both back for seconds.
I hate the saying, “Run, don’t walk to make this recipe!” but now that you have seen how much oil, butter and cream that was used, you may need to run and not walk to work these calories off.
I shopped at Whole Foods today for the soup ingredients and I found a new bread they are making. It is made from the grains used to make Sweetwater 420 Beer. It is sweet, rich, malty bread and worked great as croutons. Try this bread. Yummy!