Sunday, February 15, 2009

Tomato Soup

Last weekend I made Pecorino Romano crackers (I will post that recipe at a later date-I am still working out the kinks). The crackers weren't as crisp has I would of hoped for, so I started thinking of the crackers as more of a garnish. They would be great on salads, but they sounded even better in tomato soup. An ode to grilled cheese if you will.

I have been wanting to make something out of Martha Stewart's Cooking School: Lessons and Recipes for the Home Cook and tomato soup sounded like a good place to start. The recipe was really simple, which is the whole point of the book (good ingredients, straight-forward steps, informative techniques).

The soup contains the following ingredients:
-1 can (28 oz.) of whole tomatoes. (You can use real tomatoes and blanch them, but tomatoes are not in season so I wouldn't waste your time).
-1 medium onion - diced
-3 cloves of garlic (peeled, but left whole)
-1.5 cups of vegetable stock or water (I used Better Than Bouillon stock)
-2 Tablespoons of unsalted butter

Note: You can use less garlic, Martha only called for 2 cloves)

First, melt the butter on medium high heat, then add the onion and garlic. Saute until the onions have softened and are translucent. Stir frequently so that the garlic does not burn.
Add the can of tomatoes with juice and the 1.5 cups of vegetable stock. Let simmer covered for 10-15 minutes until the tomatoes start to break down.
Now it is time to blend your soup. You can do this in a blender, food processor, or an immersion blender. The blender creates the smoothest soup, then the food processor, and then the immersion blender last. Reserve 1 cup of liquid from the soup before you blend. The reserved liquid is for thinning your soup to the consistency you prefer.
After you blend the soup, place back in the pot and reheat through and add the remaining liquid if you want. I blended mine in a blender and the soup was pretty smooth, but there were still some chunks of onion. Next time I will use a sieve when I pour the soup back in the pot to reheat.

Martha suggests adding cream if you want a richer version. The great thing about this recipe is that is a wonderful starting point to a more interesting tomato soup. You could add herbs and spices, but honestly I like it just the way it is :)

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