Saturday, October 4, 2008

Cream of Tomato Soup

Well, it was quite cool this past week -- it even dipped into the 40s during the night a few times, so it was a bit nippy in the mornings. It put me in the mood for hot, cozy soupy food, so on Thursday night, tomato soup was on the menu. Now, it was a busy day and the debate was going to be on, so I took a shortcut and used canned diced tomatoes instead of fresh ones. It makes for a very quick meal that way.

I've been asked on at least one occasion to provide recipes when I post food porn and this time around I thought I'd go one step further and include some step-by-step photos as well...
The recipe is adapted from one I found in The Low-Carb Cookbook.

(serves 6)
3 tablespoons butter
3 shallots, chopped
2 cups chicken broth
One 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
¼ teaspoon thyme
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ cup heavy cream
cayenne pepper
spices to taste (at the table)

OK, to start off, melt the butter in a saucepan.

Chop the shallots, and toss them in there. It can't hurt to sneak a bit of garlic in as well, if you want.

Let them cook slowly until they're soft -- 10 or 15 minutes. This is usually the point when the man of the house wanders in as asks, "what smells so good?"

Next up, pour in the chicken broth.

Add the tomatoes.

And a bit of thyme. I pulled a few shoots out of the herb garden and picked off the leaves and tossed them in.

Bring it all to a simmer, cover, and let it cook for 20 minutes or so.

Next, it has to be puréed. This is where I get to tell you all how much I love my new blender stick. Used to be I'd have to dump my creamed soups into the blender in batches, making big messes all along the way, until it was all smooth and creamy.

But now I can just turn off the heat and blend it all up in the pan. It's a miracle of modern science, I tell you!

It's almost done now! Just add a bit of baking soda.

The soda will make the soup foam up a bit -- it's a fun, mad scientist moment!

Then pour in the cream.

The recipe calls for a pinch of cayenne pepper, but I add a few shakes. I like my food to bite back at me.

Heat the soup back up, but don't let it boil. Add a glop or two of horseradish (the recipe calls for a tablespoon, but I like a bit more than that).

And voilà! It's like you've been teleported back into the refuge of your mama's warm, loving kitchen on a cold, blustery day! You'll probably want to add a twist or two of fresh ground black pepper, but I doubt you'll need any salt.

I think there's a law somewhere that you're not allowed to serve tomato soup without some sort of grilled or toasted cheese sandwich on the side, so you better serve one up! You don't want the menu cops coming after you!



Keera said...

*confused* Shouldn't it be redder than that?

Norwegian tomato soup is without the pepper(s) and onions, but does have chives. It does have cream (which enhances any soup), and you can add hard-boiled eggs and/or pre-boiled macaroni. Bread optional, but no cheese.

alice said...

Tomato soups are reddish, but creamed soups are never that dark. I do think the shallots moderate the color quite a bit, once they're blended in -- onions will do the same thing...

fletch said...

As I scrolled down thru the pics I started thinking "I bet that smells good" about the time I read about the man of the house. I guess it works for web pages too. I'm drooling now; that's a man thing also.

alice said...

One of the best things about making soup is how it fills the house with such lovely aromas. And it wouldn't be nearly as much fun without someone wandering in, admiring the whole sensory experience! It even counts on web pages...