Thursday, March 04, 2010

When all else fails, simple Tomato Soup

All of the family has flown east, and we are back to living the 4 of us. Because we haven't broken down the crib and moved it yet, though, we still all sleep in one room. I kind of love it.

Last night we had some friends over for dinner. I couldn't imagine making anything. I paged through my binder of recipes. Nothing sounded good (I threw a third of them away). I looked in the pantry. Nothing. I could hardly think of mustering the energy to go to the market or pull out bowls and pots in the kitchen.

But then I read a recipe from Chef Geoff's in DC for tomato soup -- simple -- and imagined grilled cheese, a kind of Saturday afternoon meal: soup, crusty sourdough with sharp cheddar and monterey jack, and a salad with beets and black current balsamic, and all of the sudden, dinner felt doable.

Creamy Tomato Soup with Herb Gremolata

I realized today, when I found the bowl of carefully chopped gremolata in my fridge, that I forgot it last night. I served mine with a drizzle of olive oil, some fresh ground salt and pepper, and a sprinkling of croutons on top. Parmesan would have also hit the spot. The gremolata, though, definitely adds some complexity and interest to the flavor. The recipe halved serves 4 comfortably with a bowl left over.

4 28oz cans of whole san marzano tomatoes (apparently san marzano are the best saucing, and
apparently souping, tomatoes, so do go out of your way to find them)
10 oz heavy cream
5 fresh basil leaves
splash balsamic vinegar -- I used a few teaspoons and combined a thicker sweeter balsamic and
a regular thinner one
salt and pepper to taste
herb gremolata: equal parts fresh basil, oregano, and parsley, chopped or put in food processor
with garlic and lemon juice

In a large pot simmer the tomatoes and cream for 60 minutes, covered.
Puree with an immersion blender while adding the basil leaves.
Season with balsamic, S&P

No comments: