Comfort Food

We are currently snowed in here in Missouri.   We have had a “major” ice storm over the past two days and we are doing our best to stay warm and cozy inside.  What better way to stay warm and cozy than to fix up your favorite comfort foods!  Today, I am cooking up a pot of homemade tomato soup.  I wish you could be here to smell the tomatoes roasting in the oven.  I sprinkled them with salt and pepper and drizzled some olive oil on top.  They are currently caramelizing in my oven as I type this! While that is going on in the oven, my stove top is busy softening up some celery, onion, garlic and carrots in some olive oil.

Can you smell them?

I’m shocked my family hasn’t come out of their hibernation den i.e. basement to see what I am up to!  What are we having to go along with the tomato soup you ask?  Well, I am making up some salami, Italian beef and ham sandwiches with a horseradish spread and Colby jack cheese.  I will warm them up in the skillet sprayed with Pam.  Much like a Panini, only I don’t have a Panini machine so I make my own “Panini” machine by stacking 2 smaller skillets on top of the sandwiches and smashing them down.  Hey, it works and if any of you know Radhika, she probably does the same thing as she is the queen of compromising when it comes to cooking.  I  have had the privilege of cooking along side her in her kitchen and was handed a rock to crush garlic.  I kid you not!  You know what though?  It totally worked and it a lot of fun crushing garlic with a rock!  I adapted this recipe from Food Network.

Homemade Tomato Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 (14-ounce) can chopped tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 1 small carrot, diced
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream, optional

Directions

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Strain the chopped canned tomatoes, reserving the juices, and spread onto a baking sheet, season with salt and pepper, to taste, drizzle with 1/4 cup of the olive oil and roast until caramelized, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a saucepan, heat remaining olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the celery, carrot, onion and garlic, cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the roasted chopped canned tomatoes, reserved tomato juices, chicken broth, bay leaf and butter. Simmer until vegetables are very tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Add basil and cream, if using. Puree with a hand held immersion blender until smooth.

Please note: I used diced tomatoes as I did not have any chopped tomatoes.  I don’t think it will make a difference.  However, I did not have much reserved juice so I added a can of tomato sauce.  I also did not have any heavy cream nor fresh basil so I used about a tablespoon of dried basil and skipped the heavy cream which means less fat!  We didn’t even miss it!

Steamy, yummy goodness!

Stay warm and happy!

Dee

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