and Mike came over yesterday afternoon for a much anticipated visit. It's been far too long since I've seen m'girl. A question and quick thought inspired to me page hannunvaakuna
to see what their plans were for dinner, and about 1/2 hour later, her and bunjamin
showed up for a really lovely long night of food and conversation. Really awesome fun.
Dinner was a smash hit. I had been wanting to make a 'from scratch' tomato soup for the last week. So Brian and I headed up to the farmers market late morning to get all of the ingredients fresh, then headed home and he cleaned up while I made soup. It was worth the time and effort by a factor of 100.
Soup was served with a side of Parmesan baguette with dipping oil and fresh ground dried spices (rosemary, basil, black pepper, garlic powder, sea salt). Condiments for the soup included shredded cheese, square thick Amish noodles, and fresh chopped avocado. It was amazing. I have enough in the freezer, even after dinner for 6, for three more meals! Next time, I'm cooking the entire bushel into soup!
2/3 bushel of tomatoes (blanched, peeled, seeded and crushed)
I did this in batches, about 8 tomatoes at a time, approximately 32 tomatoes
The middle section of a stalk of celery (about 6 of the tender pale stalks with leaves) chopped fine
1 sweet onion, chopped
3" of leek, chopped
8 cloves of garlic, chopped
3 Pablano peppers (broiled and blackened, then peeled, seeded, and chopped)
1 teaspoon course ground pepper
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons of butter
Saute until onion is translucent and everything begins to get tender.
Here's where my herb garden contributed. I went out and chopped 1/3 of my basil, and 1/2 of my parsley and 1/2 of my hot oregano. The leaves were chopped and the lot of it was tossed into the mix.
1.5 cups chopped basil,
1/2 cup chopped spicy oregano,
1/3 cup chopped parsley
Add 1 cup of Chardonney and 1/2 cup of water and simmer while prepping the tomatoes
Add the first batch of tomatoes and continue to simmer on medium. After about 10 minutes, I took a stick blender to this and got rid of any identifiable vegetable pieces. Didn't get it smooth because we wanted a coarse texture.
After all the tomatoes were added to the pot, I added :
2/3rds of a cup of brown sugar,
3 Tablespoons Worcestershire, and
1 teaspoon high quality vanilla.
In another pan I melted 1 stick of butter (8 Tablespoons) then added 8 Tablespoons of flour. Using a whisk, I kept this cooking for a couple of minutes without scorching. Then I started adding 1 ladle of hot soup at a time and whisking smooth until the mixture was pourable and thin. At that point I added it all back to the main soup pot to thicken it up to the perfect consistency.
After this I let it simmer on low for about 2 hours and salted a little more until the bouquet of the soup bloomed and the flavors were set. Perhaps another teaspoon or so.
Brian was a little hesitant that this would actually make a filling meal. But it was the perfect weight for the evening, everyone felt well fed, and we finished off the culinary feast with Magic Brownies from Zingermann's, which Joy and Mike brought.
So far today, I'm the only one up enjoying the cool and sunny morning. Joy, Mike, and Brian are still hibernating.