Sunday, April 25, 2010

Roasted Tomato Basil Soup

Whole Foods has a delicious Roasted Tomato Basil Soup.  I love it.  This tastes just like it.  The flavor is so clean and simple.  It does call for quite a bit of basil.  The recipe calls for 4 cups packed basil.  I have no idea what packed means for leaves of basil.  So, I just used a lot.  It was about 4 ounces (one of those big boxes).  And I thought the basil flavor was perfect.  I love basil.  Is there anything better?  We are starting an indoor herb garden in our window box thing.  I CANNOT wait.  Our seeds have sprouted and we have had about a 70% success rate.  We keep watering the failures but I am pretty sure they aren't going to grow.  We planted 60+ plants so I guess there is some room for failure.

We had some steamed artichokes with a lemon/garlic dipping sauce.  My mom always made stuffed whole artichokes.  They were amazing.  I have such fond memories sitting around, eating whole artichokes with my mom and grandma and fam.  My mom always stuffed them with bread crumbs and cheese.  I think sometimes I just ate off the stuffing and didn't scrape the meat off the leaf.  And my grandma and mom would tell me how to do it.  So, steaming them, you don't have a can only scrape the meat off.  And it is so delicious.  I just like the littlest amount of sauce on each leave.  I kind of used this recipe.  And I bet we only used about a tbsp of sauce total.  For three whole artichokes.  

Roasted Tomato Basil Soup
by Ina Garten via Food Network

3 pounds ripe plum tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
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
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
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 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. Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for 40 minutes. Pass through a food mill fitted with the coarsest blade. Taste for seasonings. Serve hot or cold.

(Servings: 6-8, Prep time: 15 min., Cook time: 1 hr. 35 min., Difficulty: Easy)

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