Fall is here! Even in SoCal! Yep....it's been cold (for our standards) and rainy and just plain wonderful. I love weather. Probably because we hardly ever get any other than hot and hotter. When it rains, it lifts my spirits. When we have a good downpour or thunderstorm, I'm as giddy as a school girl (not sure what that means). And I love all the yummy comfort foods that come with cold weather. Roasts, stews, soups, hearty casseroles. It's all good. Top any of that with a homemade loaf of bread and it's heaven! Especially when paired with a fabulous bowl of creamy tomato soup.
As a child, tomato soup was one of my favorites. Even though it was canned....it was still wonderful to my little kid palette. I'd get my bowl of hot soup, grab a stack of saltine crackers and go to town. Dipping some of the crackers and crumbling the others right into the soup. Good stuff, let me tell ya.
Now that I've grown up (for the most part....well, kinda) the canned stuff doesn't appeal to me anymore. I don't remember my mom or grandmother ever making homemade tomato soup, so when I had heard about Karen's recipe....I was all over it. Karen is just one of the nicest, giving ladies I've met....at Bakespace.com. I've made a few of her recipes and have loved them all. (this is like deja vu....have I said this before?). All us BS'ers (bakespacers) a.k.a. beeps (bakespace peeps....ya, we're all for the corny stuff) know Karen as Gigi. Hmm...not sure where Gigi comes from...but anyways.....this is her recipe and I have to say, it is fabulous! Its quick. It's easy and the flavor is amazing. You take a bite and taste the rotation of ingredients make their way across your palette.... just sit back as your tongue goes through the emotions...ooh, ahh....Wow....YUM!
Karen's Creamy Tomato Soup
Printable Version (I would've given a link to the recipe in Karen's BakeSpace kitchen, but I couldn't find the recipe there...so this is a link to mine. If I find hers, I'll fix it)
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 50 minutes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 medium leek (white part only) finely chopped (I didn't have any so I added 1/2 yellow bell pepper instead...not that its the same or close, but it worked)
2 cloves of garlic, minced (my addition)
1 medium carrot, peeled and finely chopped
1 medium celery stalk, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh basil
2 cups fresh tomatoes, diced or 2 - 16 oz cans diced tomatoes (I used the cans)
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 1/2 cups vegetable stock (I used a homemade stock that I had in the freezer)
1/2 cup light cream (I had Mexican crema on hand, so I used it)
salt and pepper to taste
Heat the oil in a medium to large saucepan and saute the onions, leeks (and / or bell pepper), carrot, and celery until the onion is transparent. Toss in the garlic and saute for another minute
Add the tomatoes and tomato paste and cook, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes.
Stir in the flour until incorporated and then add the stock and basil. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered for about 20 minutes. Remove from heat.
In a blender or with an immersion blender, puree the mixture until smooth. If you use a blender, you will need to do this in batches or else you will have tomato soup splattered all over your kitchen.
Return to the pan and bring to a boil again. Reduce heat and simmer for a couple of minutes...3 - 4. Turn off the heat, stir in the cream and season with salt and pepper to taste.
If you happen to have some dough lying around, form it into a baguette (mine always turn out too big and fat, but it's still good)....let it rise its final rise, brush the top with an egg wash, then take the handle of a wooden spoon and make an indent along the top. Take a few cloves of garlic, sliced in half and press them securely into the indent...
I used the Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a day recipe for Whole Wheat Bread, only I halved the wheat flour and subbed in more all purpose flour (as is my typical way of doing it), I used whey left over from cheese making instead of plain water and I added 1/2 teaspoon of barley malt syrup for each cup of flour. I really love this combination. This was the assignment for October 15th for the HBin5 bread braid
Michelle over at BigBlackDogs.net is our fearless leader, mentor and organizer. Without her and the group and all that I've learned this year, there's no way I would've ever attempted anything like this. It's not bakery perfect in looks, but it's wonderful in flavor....
Get a little slice with some butter and serve with your fresh, homemade Creamy Tomato soup that you've garnished with cream, sour cream or yogurt and some fresh basil