Front Yard Veggies

You can’t grow everything you eat, but you can eat everything you grow…

a really good tomato soup – an antidote to Alice Waters

I want to say, “THE BEST TOMATO SOUP EVAH!!”, but it’s probably not.  It’s not my recipe, but another recipe that I found on the tubes.  This came via internetfoodassociation.com (great blog) which in turn came from ourkitchensinkrecipes.com.  As I have said, I like things that are simple, and really flavorful.  This one certainly is that.  I think that the kicker is the spiciness in there.  From start to finish, it took me thirty five minutes and that was with many interruptions due to kids, etc.  Since this is the year of leeks, it is appropriate that this soup depends heavily on leeks for its flavor.  I cannot wait to redo this recipe with fresh tomatoes instead of canned.  Also, cheap is a major bonus of this recipe.  Between the leeks, cream and canned tomatoes, it probably cost $7.50, and served a total of 5 meals.

from my kitchen:

Note: it is not that creamy looking after blending it up.  Also, I skipped the caramelized leeks for time and simplicity sake, but that is awfully good when you do it too!

Note again: I actually doubled the recipe, and froze half of it in 16 oz batches so that I made 3 lunches out of it.

So there you have it.  This was really healthy, really simple, pretty quick, essentially organic, and quite cheap.  I think that other than getting the recipe via a blog  it also avoids the pretention factor as well.

Creamy Tomato-Leek Soup
Adapted from Food & Wine

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon, plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil (divided)
3 leeks, divided (2 thinly sliced in half moons and 1 thinly sliced lengthwise)
3 garlic cloves, smashed
3 14-ounce cans whole tomatoes
1 cup water
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
salt & pepper, to taste

In a large saucepan, melt the butter in the olive oil. Add the sliced half moons of leeks and smashed garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and their juice, the water, heavy cream, sugar, crushed red pepper, celery seed and oregano and season with salt and pepper. Bring the soup to a boil over high heat, breaking up the tomatoes with the back of a spoon. Reduce the heat to moderate and simmer for 10 minutes.

Working in batches, transfer the tomato soup to a blender and puree until smooth.* Return the soup to a clean pot and rewarm the soup if necessary. Season the soup with salt and pepper.

In a small saucepan, heat the remaining two teaspoons of oil over moderate heat. Add the remaining sliced the leeks (the lengthwise ones) and cook, stirring every so often, until browned and crispy.

Divide the soup among six bowls and garnish with the crispy leeks.

Yield: 6 bowls

* As I said in the post, I used an immersion blender here. I think a food processor would work well too.

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