Saturday, June 1, 2013

Tomato Soup, Three Ways

Tomato Soup, Three Ways   Adapted from How to Cook Everything: simple recipes for great food,  by Mark Bittman

Makes 4 servings, time: 30 minutes

Make this with fresh tomatoes in late summer. The rest of the year, use canned tomatoes.

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or butter
1 large onion, sliced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 stock of celery, diced
Salt and black pepper to taste
3 cups cored, peeled and chopped tomatoes (canned are fine; include their juice)
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves or ½ teaspoon dried thyme or 1 tablespoon minced
fresh basil leaves
2-3 cups chicken, beef or vegetable stock, preferably warmed
Minced fresh parsley or basil leaves, for garnish

Place the oil or butter in a large, deep sauce pan or casserole and turn the heat to medium. A minute later, add the onion celery and carrot. Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until the onion begins to soften, about 5 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and the herb and cook until the tomatoes break up, about 10 minutes.  Add 2 cups of stock. You may prepare the soup in advance, up to this point. Cover, refrigerate for up to 2 days, and reheat before proceeding.) Adjust seasoning; if the mixture is too thick, add a little stock or water. Garnish and serve.
Pureed Tomato Soup: Increase the tomatoes to 4 cups and reduce the stock to 1 cup. When the soup is done, puree it carefully in a blender, or food processor, or use an emersion blender directly in the soup pot. You could also use a potato masher, or pass it through a food mill or sieve. Reheat, garnish and serve, preferably with croutons.
Cream of Tomato Soup: In the above variation, substitute 1cup cream or half-and-half for the stock, added just before pureeing.

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