Thursday, April 3, 2014

Inspired by a gas station

Hey y'all,
So after yesterday's gas station soup I got a wild hair to make my own soup. For Lent we gave up land animals and my poor kiddo is quite bored with fish at this point. Lol. I can't say that I blame her, the dinner creativity did take a dip for a moment. But that's okay I'm back on my game and tag teaming my mom in the kitchen. 
Tonight I made her favorite soup: Creamy Tomato Basil
I wanted to keep the soup light for my own dietary needs. So no cream was used in this soup. But the texture was nearly spot on and the flavor turned out very nice. 
Ingredients:
4 lbs of Roma tomatoes 
1 medium red onion 
6 large cloves of garlic
1 medium butter potato
Dried basil (I didn't have fresh on hand)
1 qt of vegetable stock 
Parmesan cheese rind
Kosher salt and coarse ground black pepper

Cut the tomatoes in half and lay in a single layer on a baking sheet. I was tempted to cram them all on to the same pan but I had to remind myself that I'm looking to roast these tomatoes not steam them. So they need space to allow heat to circulate and caramelization to happen. Drizzle the tops with olive oil and the season with salt, pepper and dried basil. 
Place in a 400 degree oven for 40 minutes. 
I seem to have lost my photo of the diced onion and minced garlic. But dice the whole onion and mince all 6 cloves of garlic. Peel and dice the potato. This is what adds to the "creamy" texture in the soup without all of the fat and adding some fiber. 
A few turns of olive oil into the bottom of a pot. Sauté the onion, potato and garlic until the onion is soft and near browning. 
The tomatoes should be finished roasting at this point. 
I do not have a food mill, so while the onions softened I peeled the skins from the slightly cooled tomatoes. I waited until they were just cool enough to handle. 
The whole quart of stock goes into the pot once the onions are soft
All of the roasted tomatoes and their juices go into the pot along with the stock and sautéed veggies. 
This is a small piece of Parmesan cheese rind. I dropped 3 pieces about an inch and a half long into the soup. The rind has all of the nutty slightly salty goodness of Parmesan and imparts an different element of creaminess than the potato. 
I allow the soup to simmer for 40 minutes over a medium-low flame. Then I fish out the cheese rinds. They don't really melt down all the way. You can eat them if you like but they are kind of chewy and the flavor can be intense for some. But you never know if you like it until you try it, right? Lol so I say give it a taste!
This little guy is an immersion blender. And he is my friend Lol. It isn't mandatory that you have one in order to successfully make this soup, it just makes for easier clean up since there's one less container. You can easily use your blender, just do a few cups at a time. Please do Not fill your blender pitcher to the top with hot soup and turn it on high. There Will be a mess and it very likely will hurt. 
Because I could I used the immersion blender in the pot with it was still on the stove. 
Blender until smooth and you have this beautiful creamy tomato texture. Give a taste and add your final salt and pepper adjustments as it simmers for another couple of minutes. 
I topped mine with a swirl of extra virgin olive oil an additional crack of black pepper and added a whole wheat roll with a slice of Brie cheese in the middle. 
This dinner turned out better than I anticipated. It's always nice to not race against the clock when I'm cooking and really take my time and enjoy what I'm doing. Funny enough though my kiddo got home and allowed her eyes to be bigger than her stomach. She sat down at the table and polished off her GrandDude's leftover pancake dinner and didn't have room left to finish the soup she had in front of her. Lol go figure. I guess pancakes beat out tomato soup when it comes to the dinner plans of a 10 year old. Oh well, at least my mother and I enjoyed it. 

Time to stretch and then pass out
Peace and Namaste y'all 












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