Saturday, April 28, 2012

Homemade Tomato Soup

When I was a kid, I HATED tomato soup.  It was gross!  Granted, I don't think I ever had the real thing, but many people enjoy canned tomato soup, so I think to some extent, my tastes have just changed.  This soup was inspired by a couple different recipes I found, including one of Alton Brown's, as I recall (gotta love AB!), but in the end, it really is my own.  This is best served with a hot, buttery grilled cheese sandwich; my favorite way to make it uses sourdough bread and a combination of smoked Gruyere and extremely sharp cheddar cheeses.  If you can get your hands on it, the Cabot Big E special cheddar is perfect for, well, everything.

Tomato Soup

1)      Two cans San Marzano whole peeled plum tomatoes
2)      Four fresh plum tomatoes (peeled and chopped into small pieces)
3)      Large head of garlic, peeled 
4)      Two carrots (peeled and diced)
5)      Half a large onion (diced)
6)      3 tablespoons butter
7)      Half a box of high quality low sodium chicken stock (or vegetable stock to keep recipe vegetarian)
8)      One quart heavy cream
9)      Sea salt
10)  Black pepper
11)  Cumin
12)  Basil
13)  Oregano
14)  Paprika

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Drain canned tomatoes, reserving juice.  Place the tomatoes on a sheet pan, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle sea salt on them.

Form a “cup” from two layers of tin foil, and place the peeled cloves of garlic inside.  Liberally cover the cloves with olive oil and sprinkle sea salt on them.  Close the “cup” by bunching the foil together at the top.

Place the canned tomatoes and the garlic in the oven and roast for 35 minutes.

After removing the tomatoes and garlic, melt the butter in a large Dutch oven or other heavy bodied pan over medium heat.  Sauté the onion and carrot until the onions are softened.  Sprinkle with paprika and sea salt.  Add the reserved juice from the canned tomatoes, fresh tomatoes, roasted tomatoes, roasted garlic, and stock and stir together.  Add sea salt, fresh cracked black pepper, cumin, basil and oregano to taste.

Lower heat to low and, stirring occasionally, simmer for 50 minutes.  Add the heavy cream, stir to mix together, and simmer for five more minutes.  Blend until smooth and creamy.


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