Saturday, January 11, 2014

The Best Tomato Soup

I don't have a picture, you'll just have to trust me when I say this is beautifully creamy and a perfect orangeish-red.

The Perfect Tomato Soup
adapted slightly from America's Test Kitchen

2 shallots, minced
2 carrots, peeled and minced
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp vegetable oil
pinch of ground allspice
2 (28 oz each) cans whole tomatoes, drained and seeded.
4 1/2 tsp brown sugar
1 heaping Tbsp flour
1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1/2 cup half-and-half

-Combine the shallots, carrots, tomato paste, oil, 1/2 tsp salt, and allspice in a large saucepan.  Cover and cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, 8-10 minutes.  Stir in the tomatoes and sugar; continue to cook, uncovered and stirring often, another 10-15 minutes.  Stir in the flour and cook 1 minute.
-Whisking constantly, gradually add the broths.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer about 10 minutes.
-Puree the mixture in batches in a blender or food processor until smooth.  Wipe out the saucepan used earlier, and return the pureed soup to the saucepan.  Add the half-and-half and heat over low heat until warmed through, about 3 minutes.  Season with salt and cayenne to taste.

*For a grown-up version of grilled cheese to serve with the soup, combine 7 oz aged cheddar (at room temp) with 2-3 oz brie or camembert (at room temp) and 2 Tbsp white wine in a food processor.  Process until a paste is formed.  This is enough spread for 4 grilled cheese sandwiches.  For the outside of the sandwich, combine softened butter with a little bit of dijon mustard.  Perfection.

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