Friday, October 9, 2009

Home Alone
Oops, they did it again.
The Foodie Family left me home alone again.
Let's see what sort of mischief I can get into, shall we?
Wonder what rich, sinful foods I will whip up in the kitchen this time?

Why, it looks like Creamy Tomato Soup!
Boy, do I know how to live or what!
One of the changes I have recently made to this soup is to add more cream as my husband has complained that the soup is too "tomato-y".
Who knew that tomato soup would be tomato-y?
But I have come to expect that sort of thing from him.
After all, he prefers canned chicken noodle soup to homemade soup, so what can you expect?

At any rate, I feel that I have perfected this soup, so I will give you the new recipe.

Creamy Tomato Soup

3 strips thick sliced bacon, diced
3 tablespoons shallots or onion, grated or minced
2 garlic cloves, grated or minced
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 - 6 ounce can tomato paste
1 - 29 ounce can (or 2 - 15 ounce cans) tomato puree
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup turkey (or chicken or vegetable) stock
salt, to taste
sugar, to taste
fresh chives, chopped (or green onion), for garnish
cheddar cheese, finely grated, for garnish (optional)

In a heavy stainless steel pot, fry the bacon pieces over medium-high heat.
When cooked, remove the bacon, leaving the bacon grease.
Drain the bacon on a paper towel and set aside for use as a garnish for the soup.
In case you haven't noticed, this is not a vegetarian soup.
I suppose this step could be skipped, but why would you?
Add the shallots or onion to the bacon grease and cook until soft.
Add the garlic, thyme, rosemary and tomato paste and continue to cook, stirring frequently.

Add the tomato puree, cream, stock and salt and sugar to taste.
The amount of salt and sugar will vary, depending on the acidity of the tomatoes and the amount of sodium in the canned tomatoes and the stock.
I have not measured it, but I would guess that I add at least 1/4 cup sugar, and perhaps as much as 1/2 cup sugar to the soup.
It just depends on the tomatoes and your own personal tastes.

This is the proper way to taste the soup multiple times without contaminating the soup.
Drizzle some of the soup from another spoon onto the tasting spoon and then taste.
The tasting spoon never touches the soup pot.

Allow the soup to come to a simmer.

Garnish as desired and serve.
My favorite accompaniment for tomato soup is a grilled cheese sandwich.
Now this is comfort food.

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