Monday, November 10, 2008

Smoky Tomato Soup

Sometimes there is nothing better than a bowl of hot soup. As the weather gets cooler, it is the first thing on my mind to cook- they are relatively simple, full of flavor, they warm the kitchen and my stomach, and they are an easy meal to have around as they take only minutes to reheat, and often taste better the next day. So, I found a recipe in Food and Wine magazine that intrigued me, firstly, because believe it or not, I have never made tomato soup and secondly, it calls for smoked pimenton, which is an ingredient that I have never used.

The recipe is basic; onion, garlic, tomatoes, water and the pimenton, finished with a touch of cream. It sounded too easy!

I am often wary of making sauce or salsas with fresh tomatoes that have not been roasted before hand, so that was a modification that I made. I cut the tomatoes in half, drizzled with olive oil and black pepper and set them in a 350 degree oven for around one and a half hours. I did not want the moisture sucked out of them, just roasted enough to concentrate their flavor so my soup wasn’t lacking in depth.

The Roasted Tomatoes

A quick sauté of onions and garlic (I added 4 extra cloves!!) then add the pimenton- and this is where the soup comes alive. It adds such richness and depth of flavor, that I can’t believe I have not discovered it sooner. It amps up the tomato taste and has an underlying smokiness that is subtle and yet unmistakable at the same time. You then add the tomatoes, thyme, bay leaf and a little water and let it simmer for about 15 minutes. Blend, puree, add a little cream to cut the acid, and voila- a soup that warms the soul!!

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