So, a lot has happened in 3 years. I came to the Pacific NW. Three dogs and a Moose. Now I only have one dog and am a Moose in name only.
This post has been lingering in my brain. And for some reason I decided that today was the day that I should write it, post it and move on. Full disclosure and all that. I won’t dwell on the details. We all go through icky, yucky, sad shit and we survive. And so will I. What doesn’t kill you blah, blah, blah.
I’ve missed posting on my blog. I’m sure all three of my loyal followers have moved on to a more worthy blogger. To be honest I haven’t done a lot of mucking around in the kitchen. But it’s time to start again. Need to get my cooking and writing mojo back.
So today we make soup. Roasted Tomato & Basil Soup to be exact. Of course with a number of modifications because Lord knows I can’t follow a recipe exactly to save my life. First off there was the run on basil here in PDX. I went to Freddy’s, New Seasons, Winco and World Bazaar. None. Nada. I got bubkus people. And I was too annoyed and frustrated to look any further. So I had to adjust. I found a bit of basil in my ghetto garden, did the chiffonade thing, hoping for the best. Also, for whatever reason I still do not own a proper soup pot. So I’m winging it with a deep skillet, sloshing soup all over the stove as I cook. For this reason alone I will never have my own cooking show. I’m simply too messy. Remind me to be careful when I actually have to puree the soup in my blender. For those of you who know me you know what’s going to happen. Inevitably I will end up with roasted tomato soup in my hair, all over my designer wardrobe from Target and on the ceiling.
Make this soup. Now. Your house will smell amazing! My subterranean lair (that’s another story) smells awesome!
3 pounds ripe plum tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise (you can use any tomato your little heart desires)
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons good olive oil
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 cups chopped yellow onions (2 onions)
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 (28-ounce) canned plum tomatoes, with their juice
4 cups fresh basil leaves, packed (and if there’s a run on basil in your neck of the woods, use what you have or forage in your neighbor’s garden. if they’re on vacation all the better)
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (dried thyme is fine. then you don’t have to buy a bunch of fresh thyme, use a teaspoon and then wonder what to do with the rest.)
1 quart chicken stock or water
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Toss together the tomatoes, 1/4 cup olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread the tomatoes in 1 layer on a baking sheet and roast for 45 minutes.
In an 8-quart stockpot (or an inadequately sized skillet) over medium heat, saute the onions and garlic with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the butter, and red pepper flakes for 10 minutes, until the onions start to brown. Add the canned tomatoes, basil, thyme, and chicken stock. Add the oven-roasted tomatoes, including the liquid on the baking sheet. (at this point, in my kitchen there’s soup sloshed everywhere. again, this is why the food network doesn’t want me.) Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for 40 minutes. Pass through a food mill fitted with the coarsest blade. (or in my case…use a blender because I don’t need one more kitchen tchotke in my space).Taste for seasonings. At this point, since I rarely follow a recipe, I’ve decided that making roasted cream of tomato and basil soup is the way to go. So, add half and half, heavy cream. Whatever you have in the fridge. Whatever works. Serve hot or cold.
Ooooo I just saw a recipe for Bacon Croutons! Yes. Bacon Croutons! You know what I’m doing next…
This recipe is courtesy of the fabulous Ina Garten who spends most of her time cooking for her fabulous friends and of course Jeffrey. Perhaps Jeffrey would let me cook for him? I like cooking for people.
Image courtesy of the Interwebs