Sunday, April 25, 2010

Going Local: Tomato Soup From Scratch

Ok.  So maybe tomato soup is more of a fall food.  When the leaves start turning and there's a chill in the air.  For us here in The Dush, we are into the low 80s during the day.  So why tomato soup?  1) I love tomatoes!  and 2) You should see how many canned and jarred tomatoes I have in my pantry. I must have had some irrational fear of a tomato shortage going into the winter season last year.  Not only did I hord store bought jarred tomatoes whenever I found them, I also preserved a ton of them last September. 

This is my quick and dirty version of tomato soup.  The ratio of tomato to onion to garlic is variable and is determined by what I have on hand and how garlickly I think I can go with the soup and still have my five year olds eat it.

Which leads me to the third reason I make this soup.  3)  My girls LOVE it.  

Grab a couple of garlic cloves.

Smash them with the flat side of your knife with your palm.  Do NOT cut yourself.  Again, there's no reason for any of us to be testing the Tajik medical system.  Some things are better left to the imagination.

With the flat side of the blade, sharp edge away from you, bash the cloves with your fist and occassionally sweep the sharp edge at about a 20 degree angle across the crushed cloves.  Ignore this step if that doesn't make sense.  You're just trying to flatten the cloves so you can more easily mince them. 

Once flattened, mince finely.

Then grab an onion or two and dice them.

Grab your olive oil and put a few glugs into the bottom of a good sized pot.  Perhaps one or two tablespoons worth.

Saute the onion for about five minutes, then add your minced garlic, sauteing for another five minutes or so.

Add your jarred tomatoes.  

Plain jarred tomatoes are not always available in these parts (see Hording above).  Don't confuse them with the much more readily available pickled tomatoes.  Although, if you dumped the brine it might not be that bad....

These tomatoes had their skin on so once in the pot I easily slipped the skins off with my fingers.

Fill your jar up about 3/4 of the way with vegetable stock - or chicken stock, or beef stock or even water.

Then add to the tomatoes.

Simmer over medium heat for at least 15 minutes, but longer if you wish.

Then it's time to whip out your handy stick blender.

Notice the orange hue?  It's made so many tomato soups that it's permanently stained.  I like that.

Immerse your immersion blender directly into the pot and carefully puree it until it's smooth.  Eat now or save for later.  It's even better the second day!

Pair it with a grilled cheese, and all's right in the world again.

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