Friday, March 11, 2011

Tomato Soup

It's officially the first Friday in Lent. As such, I've been completely inspired to try out a kajillion new vegetarian recipes. I even got a little over-excited and started yesterday.

Last night I made stuffed poblanos and veggie paella. Both were tasty, but I'm not sure I'd make either again. I know I did something wrong with the paella because, although I have never eaten it before, I saw a chef get booted off Top Chef for having non-crispy-crunchy paella and mind was definitely soft.

Next assignment: order paella somewhere good so my mouth knows what it's talking about.

Tonight I made Tomato and Gin soup, Spanish Lentils with Mushrooms, and Lemon Garlic Pasta. The lentils were decidedly UNpopular, the pasta was unremarkable, but the Tomato Soup really hit the spot. Also, I think it's cool because it uses potato as a thickener. So without further ado, a recipe:

Amanda’s Tomato-Gin Soup
Adapted from Gourmet

1 1/2 cups chopped onion
3 cloves minced garlic
1 chopped shallot
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 lb. tomatoes, halved
2 pounds russet potato, peeled and chopped
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
2 bay leaves
4 cups vegetable broth (or chicken broth)
1 cup chilled heavy cream
1/3 cup gin
3/4 tsp. grated nutmeg

Cook onion, garlic and shallots in butter in a 4-qt. pot over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add tomato, potato, tomato paste, bay leaves, broth, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper, and bring to a boil. Simmer briskly, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.

Discard bay leaves. Or, if you're like me, forget completely they're in there. Puree soup with a hand blender until smooth. Don't mind those little green bits. It's just the bay leaf you were supposed to take out. It won't kill you.

Stir in cream, gin, nutmeg and 1/2 tsp. salt. Simmer gently, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve soup hot, topped with chopped chives. Alternately, top with freshly whipped heavy cream or a dollop of crème fraiche.

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