Monday, September 20, 2010

Lunch Date with Paul

Poor Paul worked all weekend from home. He stayed home today to finish some reports, and I've been on my best behavior not to distract him (which is really hard since it's a rare treat to have him to myself all day). I managed to sneak into the kitchen to make him a nice lunch -- grilled tuna and cheese with tomato soup.

I'm going to have to tweak the recipe a bit I think, but my first try was pretty good. The original recipe had a convoluted sequence where you move the half of the soup to the blender, add some oil, and puree, transfer to a bowl, blah,blah,blah (you'll see what I mean in the directions below). I just used all the oil at once to saute the onions/garlic, and used an immersion blender to puree the soup, and then added the stock (I only needed one cup). I think next time I'll use less onion and garlic, and try vegetable stock instead of the chicken.

Paul gobbled it right up, and said it really hit the spot. I'm glad he liked it since we're having the soup again tonight with the leftover vegetable frittata!

Tomato Soup
(from which they adapted from Cook's Illustrated)

4 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion (about 1 cup) chopped
2 cloves of garlic (about 2 tsp) minced or crushed
1 bay leaf
2 28 oz cans of whole tomatoes packed in juice
1 tbsp brown sugar
3 slices of large sandwich bread (crusts removed and cut into 1 inch pieces)
2 cups chicken stock

Heat 2 tbsp oil in large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat until it's shimmering.
Add the onion, garlic, and bay leaf.
Cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is translucent, about 3 to 5 minutes.
Stir in the tomatoes and their juice. Using potato masher, mash until no pieces bigger than 2 inches remain.
Stir in sugar and bread; bring soup to boil.
Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until the bread is completely saturated and starts to break down, about 5 minutes.
Remove and discard bay leaf.
Transfer half of soup to blender.
Add 1 tbsp oil and process until soup is smooth and creamy, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to large bowl and repeat with remaining soup and oil.
Rinse out the pot you cooked with soup in and return the soup to the pot.
Stir in up to 2 cups of chicken (or vegetable) broth until soup reaches desired thickness.
Return soup to boil and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Optional garnishes include chopped parsley, fresh chopped basil or croutons.

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