I made some tomato soup to go with the tomato basil loaf I made for the tame the yeast theme. I followed Food Network’s Michael Chiarello's recipe. The recipe also had a video of the soup preparation but I ignored the video and just followed the written recipe. The written recipe asked to puree the soup mixture until smooth and I was not really happy with it. I prefer lighter soups to thick ones and this soup was very thick. The soup was so thick that Mr.U thought it was some sauce to go with the bread. It paired well with the bread though and decided to go with the recipe.
The original recipe is very rich with ¾ cups of extra virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons of butter and ½ cup of cream. The cream is optional though. I could not get myself to use so much fat/grease and cut back both on the oil and butter. It still was a little heavy. If one wishes they can cut down the fat further and cook a little longer until the vegetables are tender.
Since I was disappointed with the texture of the soup, I saw the video and in it the chef specifically says not to puree the soup until smooth and to keep some chunks of veggies in it. On Sunday I ate lot of junk and wanted something light for dinner. I had some carrots and celery in the fridge made this soup again. This time I kept chunks of veggies and soup was not very thick. I loved the semi thick soup with bites of veggies in it. Since the texture is so different from the first time I made it, I took the below picture. Yesterday it was rainy and gloomy all day with very little nature light. Lately, I am trying to taking some moody shots and yesterday's setting was perfect to try a moody shoot. I was going to post this recipe tomorrow but I was so anxious to get some feedback on this picture, so posting it today itself 🙂
Source: Food Network
Total Time: 30 - 35 minutes
Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 25 - 30 minutes
- 1 (14.5 ounce) can chopped Tomatoes (I used can of diced tomatoes)
- 4 - 5 tbsp. Olive Oil
- ⅛ tsp. Black Pepper Powder (adjust to taste)
- ¼ tsp. Salt (adjust to taste)
- 1 stalk Celery, diced (I used only tender part and was approx. ⅓ cups after dicing)
- 1 small Carrot, diced (approx. ¼ cup after dicing)
- 1 small – medium sized Yellow Onion, chopped (approx. ⅔ – ¾ cups after chopping)
- 2 – 3 Cloves Garlic minced or chopped (I used 3 as I like garlic, about 1 tbsp. when chopped)
- 1 ½ cups Water (can use chicken stock)
- 1 mini Chicken Bouillon cube (if using stock instead of water, leave out the cube of bouillon)
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 2 tbsp. Butter (I left it out)
- ¼ cup chopped Fresh Basil Leaves, chopped
- ½ cup Heavy Cream (opt. I used fat free milk)
- Preheat the oven to 450F.
- Strain the tomatoes and reserve the juices. Spread the tomatoes on a baking sheet, season with pepper, salt and drizzle about 2 tbsp. of oil and roast in the oven until tomatoes are caramelized. This would take about 15 – 18 minutes.
- While the tomatoes are roasting, cut the vegetables and keep aside.
- Take a sauce pan, heat 2 – 3 tbsp. oil and sauté onions, carrots, celery and garlic until soft, about 8 minutes.
- Add roasted tomatoes, reserved tomato juice, chicken broth or 1 ½ cups water + chicken bouillon, bay leaf and bring to a boil. If using butter, add it now. Simmer until vegetables are tender, about 15 – 20 minutes.
- Add basil and turn off the heat. Add cream or milk if using. Using a hand immersion blender, puree the soup. Do not puree until smooth as I did. If using a blender as I did, let the soup cool a little, added milk and pureed it in the blender. I would recommend not pureeing it until smooth. When I made the soup again couple of days ago, I pulse it for 2-3 seconds. The soup was not as thick as the first time and also there were chunks of vegetables. I liked the texture and taste of the soup second time.
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