Thursday, October 15, 2009

Roasted Tomato Basil Soup

Yikes.  It's been 3 weeks since my last post.  I'm truly sorry.  I had 5 people down with the flu 2 weeks ago. (Of course, I was the only one who didn't get it...and therefore was running a hospital for over a week). Then I went on vacation-- which was awesome after taking care of 4 sick kids and a sick hubby.  Needless to say, I didn't cook for almost 2 weeks.  I did make two meals for my in-laws while they were here watching the kids for us...but I've already posted thre recipes for them.

So...I have a couple of new dishes to share with you this week. 

But first, I wanted to show you this...

I bought this serving bowl at El Mercado in San Antonio.  There was an entire shop full of hand-painted pottery dishes, and I had to buy one.  Now what should I use it for?  Chicken mole?  Pork carnitas?  Hmm....when I think of just the right'll be the first to know!

Back to today's recipe.  I love tomato soup...and have long since stopped eating the canned stuff.  Even the "healthy" versions are too salty and frankly, taste too "tomatoey" for me.  I like tomato soup with just a little bit of texture, and a mellow tomato flavor.

This recipe is adapted from Tyler Florence's recipe...I cut back on the cream, butter, and oil to make it more "figure friendly."  I used less onion...I am not a big fan of onions in tomato add more if you want to.  And I like some freshly grated cheese on tomato soup...'cause everything is better with a little cheese ;-). 

Roasted Tomato Basil Soup

2  1/2 pounds fresh mixed variety tomatoes (I used cherry, vine ripened, and roma)
6 cloves of garlic, peeling and left whole
1 small yellow onion, sliced
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and black pepper
1 quart chicken broth
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
3/4 cup half and half
freshly grated parmesan cheese for garnish

Line a 9x13 baking dish with foil.  Wash, core, and cut the tomatoes in half, leaving the cherry tomatoes whole.  Combine the tomatoes, onion, garlic, and add them to the pan.  Season everything with salt and pepper, and drizzle over the olive oil.  (I was in a hurry and didn't take a pic of this step, but I'm sure you get the idea).

Roast the tomatoes for 25-30 minutes.  I put the pan on an upper rack of the oven so the tomatoes would caramelize. 

While the tomatoes are roasting, heat the chicken broth up in a large pot or dutch oven, along with the bay leaves and butter.

Once the tomatoes are done, carefully transfer it all to the pot.  Make sure to get all the tomato/onion juices too. 

Bring the soup to a boil.  Reduce the heat to a simmer and let the soup cook for about 20 minutes, uncovered, or until the liquid is reduced by about a third. 

Add the chopped basil to the pot.  Use an immersion blender (I LOVE mine), to pureed the soup, or use a regular blender.  Either way is just fine.  Return the soup to the pot, and over low heat, stir in the half and half and season with more salt/pepper if necessary. 

Don't you want to just dive right in?  Well..okay, maybe not...but it still looks good!

Ladle the soup into bowls, and garnish with a sprig of basil and a sprinkling of parmesan cheese. 

I made grilled cheese sandwiches for the kids, and cut them out using a Mickey Mouse pancake iron/cookie cutter. 

The things we do to get our kids to eat their veggies!  But...Christina ate all her soup...I couldn't believe it.  I told her it was like ketchup (which she adores) with milk and cheese, and I guess it worked!  The one kid who refused to eat the soup was Joshua, but I was too excited about Christina to care.  This soup is great with my Light Wheat Rolls, if you're not in the grilled cheese mood. 

We have a "cold" front coming through later on today...yee haw!  I made a double batch of this soup yesterday, so we get to have more of it tonight while the temperature drops outside...I can hardly wait. 

God bless your table tonight!

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