Saturday, January 30, 2010

Cream of Tomato Soup

Those of you who know me well know that I LOVE seriously...raw, ketchup, canned...and especially in soup. I miss having neighbors who bring bushels of tomatoes over--my dad is now trying his hand at a garden; if Dan and I get any yard space I am all over that. Anyhow, I wanted to try making tomato soup from scratch instead of my usual Campbell's route.

This is a very delicious version; I'm not 100% satisfied with it yet, but it's close. I added french bread croutons on top--very easy--just diced up a day old loaf of french bread--coated it in olive oil and popped it into the already heated oven from roasting the tomatoes (about 8 minutes).

Roasting the tomatoes really brings out another depth of flavor. I added a splash of balsamic to the roasting--i just like the sweetness it adds.

Cream of Tomato Soup
Adapted from The America’s Test Kitchen & Deb Perlman

2 (28-ounce) cans whole tomatoes packed in juice, drained, 3 cups juice reserved
1 1/2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
Splash of Balsamic Vinegar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 large shallots, minced (about 1/2 cup)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
Pinch ground allspice
2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups chicken stock, homemade or canned low-sodium
1/2 cup heavy cream2 tablespoons brandy or dry sherry
Salt and cayenne pepper

1. Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 450°F. Lined rimmed baking sheet with foil. With fingers, carefully open whole tomatoes over strainer set in bowl and push out seeds, allowing juices to fall through strainer into bowl. Spread seeded tomatoes in single layer on foil. Sprinkle evenly with brown sugar & Balsamic. Bake until all liquid has evaporated and tomatoes begin to color, about 30 minutes. Let tomatoes cool slightly, then peel them off foil; transfer to small bowl and set aside. (I actually did this on parchment paper).

2. Heat butter over medium heat in large saucepan until foaming. Add shallots, tomato paste and allspice. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until shallots are softened, 7 to 10 minutes. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, until thoroughly combined, about 30 seconds. Gradually add chicken stock, whisking constantly to combine; stir in reserved tomato juice and roasted tomatoes. Cover, increase heat to medium, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, to blend flavors, about 10 minutes.

3. Pour mixture through strainer and into medium bowl; rinse out saucepan. Transfer tomatoes and solids in strainer to blender; add 1 cup strained liquid and puree until smooth. Place pureed mixture and remaining strained liquid in saucepan. Add cream and warm over low heat until hot, about 3 minutes. Off heat, stir in brandy and season with salt and cayenne. Serve immediately. (I actually froze the remaining soup--I put half of the soup in freezer containers before adding the cream or brandy--so it would freeze better--worked like a charm.

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