Creamy Tomato Soup

October 18, 2009

Soup

I love a good tomato soup.  And even though I’ll still crack open a can of Campbell’s and be happy enough, I much prefer a heartier version. In fact, Le Madeline’s sells some in a jar that is pretty good. But you know, that can get expensive. Especially as often as I want soup.

Now that my blender is all fixed, I thought now would be the perfect time to give this a shot. And this recipe from Martha Stewart (shut up) seemed like a winner.

Creamy Tomato Soup

Ingredients:
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 onion, coarsely chopped
1-2 cloves garlic (I used 4 because I like garlic)
2 14-ounce cans of whole peeled tomatoes (I got the kind with basil in it, since my store didn’t have fresh basil)
Salt and pepper
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1/2 heavy cream

Melt butter in a medium pot over medium heat. Cook onion and garlic, stirring constantly, until translucent about 3 minutes.

Add tomatoes and their juices and the chicken stock. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer about 10 minutes.

Working in batches, transfer tomato mixture to blender (put a towel over the lid) and puree until smooth.

Return soup to a clean pot and set over low heat. Whisk in cream and heat through.  I tasted it at this point and added some more salt and pepper, along with a dash of ground thyme. It needed more salt than I expected, but the cream probably had something to do with that.

If you have some leftover and you want to reheat it, do NOT do it in a microwave. This will break the cream and it will be really gross. Heat gently over low or medium low.

I made a grilled cheese sandwich to go with this and it was fantastic!!


Cold weather comfort, by sharon

November 17, 2008

I’ve decided to make a giant pot of beef vegetable soup.  I’ve never made it, and I have no clue what I’m doing, but hey!  That’s never actually stopped me before.  So . . . this is how I’m doing it.

Ingredients:
1 pack of beef short ribs
1 pack of beef necks
1 pack of beef shanks
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 15-ounce can of diced tomatoes
4 carrots, chopped
4 stalks of celery, chopped
2 cups of fresh green beans, snapped into small pieces
celery leaves, chopped
fresh marjoram, chopped
salt
black pepper
ground thyme

Method
If I type something in here, it seems like I actually have a method.  But let’s pretend.  I’ve been looking up pho recipes lately, so I took a few tips from that on how to make a good broth.  Throw the bones and meat into a pot, cover with water, and bring to a boil.  Boil for 5 minutes and remove the meat to a colander.  Throw out the water—there should be TONS of foam on top which supposedly contains a lot of impurities and the most fat.  Rinse out the pot, rinse off the meat, then put the meat back in the pot and cover with 14-16 cups of water (approximately 4 quarts).

Chop the onion and garlic.  While the water is coming to a boil, quickly sautee the garlic and onion before adding it to the stock.  I decided to do this to add a deeper flavor.  Once the onion is transluscent, add the onion, garlic, and some chopped marjoram to the pot.  Add some salt, pepper, and ground thyme as well.  Bring to a boil, turn the heat down, and simmer on medium-high for about 2-3 hours.

Using tongs or a slotted spoon, remove the bones and meat from the pot to a colander.  Throw some ice into the stock and put it into the freezer so all the extra fat rises to the top and is easy to skim off.  Pull the meat off of the bones and give it a rough chop.  If you’ve done it right, the shank bones should now be hollow, since all the marrow will have cooked out into the stock.

Skim the fat from the stock, bring it back to a boil, and add the tomatoes, green beans, carrots, and celery.  Bring to a boil and simmer until the vegetables are tender.  Add the meat back in toward the end.  At this point, start testing the stock again for salt.  If it needs anything, add it (so vague, I know).

And that’s it!  Yes, it takes all day.  Because a good soup takes all day.  It’s worth it, i swear.


The soup

November 14, 2008

Molly swears she won’t make this soup any more because she’s burnt out.  Me, though, I’m still good.  I love this soup for so many reasons.
1) It doesn’t require things like a recipe or precision
2) It’s easy
3) It gets better the next day
4) It’s filling and tasty

Kale and Sausage Soup

Ingredients:
1 pack Italian sausage (I buy the links just in case I want it in slices on a given day.  But I usually take it out of the casing anyway).
1 bunch kale
chopped onion (1/2 or whole, depending on taste)
minced garlic (use fresh, stop buying jars!  1-2 cloves to taste)
48 ounces chicken broth
red pepper flakes
salt
pepper
thyme

Method:
Chop the onion and garlic and set aside.  Stem the kale and tear into bite-size pieces, then rinse and strain.  Break the sausage into pieces into a large soup pot and sauté  briefly.  When sausage is about halfway cooked, add the onion and garlic.  Once the sausage is browned, add the kale and stir until it wilts.  Add the chicken broth and a little bit of the spices and allow to simmer for approximately 20 minutes.  Do not add a lot of the spices at this point–you need to allow the rest of the flavors to come together so you can tell what’s going on.  After a bit, taste the broth.  Add whatever you think it needs: red pepper, salt, pepper, thyme, marjoram, white wine . . . whatever!  I usually stir in a little bit of half and half at the end to finish out the broth a bit.  Molly likes to add diced tomatoes and whipping cream to hers.  We agree that a little shaved Parmesan is great over the top.

And there it is!  A quick, wonderful soup that is healthy, fast, and yummy.