Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Cream of tomato soup

I should call this something more exciting because it sounds sort of canned and sad when you just say "cream of tomato soup," but it's really sometimes fun and delicious to make comfort food like this from scratch so we'll just go with it.

Heated a lot of butter (maybe 3 tablespoons?) with 1 tablespoon olive oil and sautéed in that one diced yellow onion until very soft and fragrant but not at all browned. Added 4 minced garlic cloves and continued to sauté about 2 more minutes. Sprinkled 2 tablespoons flour over the buttery onion/garlic mixture and mixed well, making sure there were no lumps and not letting it burn up. Added about 44 ounces of whole, peeled plum tomatoes (I say 44 ounces because it was a 28 ounce can and then maybe another half a can of the same size, but I'm not really sure) and mashed them up pretty well. Added 3 cups of chicken stock and brought everything to a boil, then turned to simmer and covered, stirring every once in a while. Added 2 tablespoons minced parsley at some point during a stir. Let simmer for about 25-20 minutes, then added salt and pepper to taste and a couple pinches of vindaloo (you could use ground clove or curry or something else if you liked, but I had vindaloo around so vindaloo it was). Took off the heat and passed the entire soup through the finest disk of my food mill into a clean container (it took 2 batches). Returned the soup to the pot with very low heat and added about 1/2 cup of half and half. Corrected to salt and pepper and made sure it got heated throughout without boiling.

I didn't really expect it, but we got a surprise Wisconsin boost to our meal. We passed Jeremy on his front porch on our way into the apartment and he had a bag of charcoal in his hand so we knew at once they were grilling. Sadly we had nothing to toss on...or so we thought! Discovered 4 Wisconsin brats hanging out in the freezer, boiled them in a dark mystery beer that had been malingering in our fridge and brought them downstairs to take advantage of the fire Jeremy had built. Delicious and totally spontaneous, although probably not what you'd call a natural accompaniment to cream of tomato soup.

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