Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Tomato Soup

Yes, it's a little hot out this summer for hot soups, but that's when the tomatoes ripen.

I was amazed that the Bible doesn't have a recipe for this basic soup.  I was even more surprised that NONE of my cookbooks had a tomato soup recipe that fit my tastes.  Off to the internet for a quick survey of popular recipes.

Most tomato soup recipes include carrot for sweetness and as a flavor enhancer.  I didn't feel like going back to the grocery store and skipped it, opting for more basil instead.

I did like the opinion of one site that has you put in the tomatoes with the skin on, then strain the soup after puréeing to get out the seeds and skins.  Whoever first decided that tomatoes should be peeled had way too much time on his hands.  It isn't difficult to peel a tomato, just more time-consuming than not doing it.

2 lb fresh tomatoes
1/2 C chopped onions
1/2 C chopped celery
1 Tb olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 C water
2 Tb fresh basil or 2 tsp dried basil
salt & pepper to taste

1.  In a large saucepan, sauté the onions and celery in the oil until the onions are softened, but not brown.  Add the garlic and cook for another 5 minutes.

2.  Roughly chop the tomatoes and add to the pot.  Add the water and basil.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.  Cover and simmer until tomatoes are completely cooked, 30 to 45 minutes.

3.  Remove from heat.  Purée in the blender (you may need to do it in two batches).  Return to pot via a mesh strainer to remove seeds, skins, and "strings".  You can use a spoon to press through as much liquid as possible.

4.  Return soup to a simmer.  Taste, and add salt and pepper as needed.  Serve hot.

Difficulty rating :)

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