Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Tomato Soup and Top Chef

Is there anything better than tomato soup and a grilled cheese? I think not. When the temperature gets chilly and the sun sets ridiculously early, there's not much better. That's why I made it tonight for dinner (and had enough leftover to freeze)

Also, before I give you my soup recipe (adapted, of course, from an America's Test Kitchen recipe), let me remind everyone who reads this wonderful blog that tomorrow night is the season premiere of Top Chef on Bravo. I'll be providing commentary and opinions and generally trying to emulate my awesome friend Meghann, her blog and her reviews of Project Runway. I hope I am as good of a writer as she is!

Recipe after the jump!

Cream of Tomato Soup
2 28 oz cans of whole tomatoes in juice
1.5 tbsp dark brown sugar
4 tbsp unsalted butter
4 large shallots, minced
1 tbsp tomato paste
pinch of ground allspice
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1.75 c chicken broth
0.5 c heavy cream
2 tbsp brandy
salt and cayenne pepper

Preheat to 450, and line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. In a strainer over a bowl, push the seeds out of the tomatoes, letting the juice fall into the bowl, and straining the rest of the juice. (You should end up with 3 cups) Place the tomatoes on the baking sheet in a single layer and sprinkle with brown sugar. Roast in the oven until all liquid is evaporated, about 30 minutes. Let the tomatoes cool.

While the tomatoes are roasting, heat the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat until foamy. Add the shallots, tomato pate and allspice, cover and cook (sometimes stirring) until the shallots are soft (8 min or so). Add the flour and stir constantly for about 30 seconds, then whisk in the broth in a gradual stream. Add in the reserved tomato juice and the roasted tomatoes, bring to a boil, and simmer for 10 minutes.

Strain the mixture into a bowl and rinse out the saucepan. Puree the solids in a food processor with 1 cup of the strained liquid. Put the strained liquid and the puree back into the saucepan, add the cream, stir and heat on low until hot. Off the heat, add the brandy. Season to taste with the salt and cayenne and with a delicious grilled cheese sandwich.

*Note: When I made this tonight, I only ended up with about 2 cups of juice from the tomatoes, so I used water to bring the volume up to 3 cups, and I added an extra tbsp of tomato paste...came out delicious. DO NOT be afraid of the cayenne pepper. You literally need a pinch per serving, and it really brings out the tomato flavor, without adding any amount of heat or spice.


Bakerloo said...

You are nice! Thanks for the shout out.

I am SO PSYCHED for Top Chef tonight. I think I am going to have soup for dinner too!