Thursday, March 3, 2016

Tomato Soup Recipe

Before I begin, allow me to explain...

A good homemade tomato soup recipe is something that everyone needs in their life; but also something that is unique to each individual chef.  Some prefer it thin, but loaded with invisible bursts of flavor, while others like to see the bold chunks of tomato goodness.  I fall somewhere in the middle, while leaning slightly towards the chunky side.  Sort of like my thighs.

That being said, this recipe is a tad more chunky than I had anticipated when I set out to make it.  Like most of my recipes, it changes a little each time I make it; and nothing is ever set in stone.
For a "printable" of the soup, complete with ingredient list, and notes explaining how to make a "less chunky" version, see link at bottom of page.
  I support diversity in cooking, and aim to please all palates.


Tomato Soup

 Practically anytime I sauté, I begin with the same ingredients.  A little olive oil, a pat of salted butter, a few drops of Srirachi, and some salt & pepper.   

Mmmm….the smell is amazing, and the color becomes this beautiful golden color that is almost mesmerizing.  I have to be very careful not to stand there and stare at it for too long.  
Because butter burns, people.  Remember that and you won't have to wash out your pan and start over.

Ok, so about the Salt & Pepper.  If you have it, use both Kosher and regular Iodized salt.  I like the way both salts cling differently to the food, and can’t imagine my pantry without either one.


Once you have that beautiful golden color simmering on about med - med/high heat, and just as it begins to bubble, throw in those diced onions and allow them to simmer for just a few minutes (3-5 will do)....the goal being to get them to a slightly translucent/golden place without getting them overcooked or burned. 
My apologies for the lack of photo here, by the way.  Just imagine diced onions simmering in butter and olive oil, and you will know what to do.

Now it is time to add those diced tomatoes and stir them around.  They should be very happy in there with all those golden, buttery onions.  Who wouldn't be?



Once the tomatoes and onions have had a few minutes to get acquainted, it might be time to add a splash or two of white wine ( you could also use sherry.  Sherry is VERY good in this soup, but white wine is what I had).  
I also use the wine/sherry to de-glaze the pot just a bit at this point.  All of that simmering and getting acquainted can sometimes cause some sticking to the bottom of the pan.
So toss in a little of the alcohol of your choice and make sure you scrape up any delicious bits on the bottom of the pan.


Allow this mixture to simmer just a bit so that the alcohol will reduce; and then add the can of crushed tomatoes.
  


Bring to a beautiful, gentle boil, and allow to simmer for just a few minutes (when I say "few", I generally mean about 3ish).

See??
Isn't that boil BEAUTIFUL?


Mmmmmmm.....

Now for the Chicken Stock.  Add it and allow the gentle boil to continue to simmer for a "few".



Next up is the Parmesan Cheese.
Use whichever you have, grated or shredded, but please don't leave it out.
However, I would start slowly with it, adding about 1/3 of it at a time, and allowing it to gradually melt into the soup.



Once the parmesan has melted, it is time to add the seasonings.


And the Half & Half.


Mmmmmmmmm....How beautiful is this?  Your life is almost complete, my friend.
Hang in there and have a spoon ready, because it is about to get goooood.

Ok....
So at this point, I allow the soup to simmer just a bit (another term for 3ish minutes).
Then I usually feel that it is too thin, and pull out a can of tomato paste.


Paste will thicken the soup some, but not too much; however, don't feel the need to add the entire can.  Start out with a spoonful, and go from there. You won't be sorry.

Once the paste has been added, and a proper amount of simmering has happened for a few-ish minutes ( I know.  I like simmering).....
you can begin the taste testing.
And like with most tomato based dishes, sugar is needed.
Add about a teaspoon, and then taste test again.
You will probably feel the need to add some extra Salt & Pepper at this point, and possibly a tad more sugar...depending on personal taste.

I wish I could tell you exactly how much of these final ingredients to add, but it is strictly up to personal preference.
Get it how you like it, and throw in the final touch.
Freshly chopped parsley.

Allow to simmer....but you knew that, didn't you?

And taste.

Is it perfect?

Are you happy?

If so, serve with a slice of broiled french bread, or a toasted whole wheat bun you found in the bread box.

Top with cheese and live happily ever after, while watching Parenthood on Netflix.

Printable Tomato Soup recipe HERE.






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