Thursday, December 17, 2009

Tomato Soup

I have fond childhood memories of a steaming hot bowl of Campbell's Tomato Soup, a Grilled Cheese Sandwich and lunch with my mom. As I grew older, I became less and less fond of tomato soup or should I say canned tomato soup. Homemade tomato soup on the other hand, I love. The flavor is so much milder and less acidic than the canned varieties. I am always anxious to try a new recipe for tomato soup. I so enjoy Michael Chiarello and when I saw this recipe, I knew I had to try it. The only change I made to this recipe was to substitute vegetable stock for chicken stock. This soup has a wonderful texture and a nice mild tomato flavor.

Tomato Soup
Adapted from Michael Chiarello

1 (14-ounce) can chopped tomatoes
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 stalk celery, diced
1 small carrot, diced
1 yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup vegetable broth
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup heavy cream, optional

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

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 leaf and butter. Simmer until vegetables are very tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Add basil and cream, if using. Puree with a hand held immersion blender until smooth.

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