Sunday, December 1, 2013

Roasted Tomato, Pepper and Carrot Soup with Spicy Herb Yogurt

I distinctly remember the very first time I had tomato-garlic soup--it was back when my parents were still married, so I must have been somewhere around 3rd or 4th grade. We went out to dinner as a family to this restaurant in Chico called Basque Norte (just googled them--apparently they just sell marinade now), and I ordered the tomato-garlic soup and lamb chops and INSTANTLY REALIZED I LOVE TOMATO GARLIC SOUP.
Ultimately, the night went sour because my Dad was being a dick. (A few years hence we'd be unable to afford dinner out at a nice restaurant, but much happier because my Dad wasn't invited). 
Plus, who needs dinner out? In elementary school I developed my first tomato-garlic soup recipe. Here it is: 

Stir together:
2 cans of Campbell's tomato soup, diluted with water according to whatever the can says
A few vigorous shakes of garlic powder or garlic salt
Boil and serve in bowls or coffee mugs. Sprinkle with Cheez Its as croutons. 

That was great! And my first copy-of-a-restaurant meal recipe.
But in the years since, I've made a far more delicious, complex and wonderful tomato soup recipe. It's a lot more work, though. I start by roasting about 3 lbs of veggies with some balsamic, olive oil, garlic, and a sprinkle of salt. Then, I blend the roasted veggies and add some stock--that's it! This is more a template than a recipe--you could make any kind of vegetable soup by following this basic routine. 
Tonight I made a spicy, herb-y yogurt topping, too.


For soup
2 lbs Roma tomatoes 
1 package cherry tomatoes 
4 carrots
2 red bell peppers
1 head garlic
2 TB olive oil
2 TB balsamic vinegar
sprinkle salt 
2 white onions
2 cups white wine
2 TB butter
1 piece of bread (anything is fine--sourdough, wheat, white, etc)
6 cups of vegetable stock (I like to make my own--recipe below. But canned or boxed is fine. You could also use chicken stock)

What to do:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. 
Cut the veggies other than the onions. Quarter the Roma tomatoes, chop carrots and peppers into large chunks. Leave the cherry tomatoes whole. Peel a head of garlic. Toss everything together in a large roasting pan. Drizzle with the olive oil and balsamic, and sprinkle with a teaspoon or so of salt. 
Veggies before roasting. 
Place into the 400 degree oven and roast, uncovered, for an hour.

An hour later--the veggies are fragrant, concentrated and soft. 
Remove the vegetables from the oven and set aside to cool.
Melt the butter in a large soup pot. 
Put the two onions in a food processor and blend into a paste. Put them into the melted butter and saute for about five minutes.
Pour the wine into the pot and simmer for about five minutes. 
I used this classy vintage. 
Meanwhile, scoop the roasted veggies and slice of bread into the food processor and blend. You may need to work in batches. 
Roasted Vegetable Puree. 
Add the pureed vegetables to the onions /wine/ butter in your pot. Stir to mix. 
Add vegetable stock and stir--bring to a boil, then turn the heat off. Taste--does it need a teaspoon of sugar to temper the tomatoes? A dash of lemon or some more salt???

Serve with toast, grilled cheese, or anything! 

Spicy Herb Yogurt Sauce

Blend together:
1 large container (32 oz) of 2% Greek yogurt
2 jalapenos, with seeds (remove seeds if you want it less spicy)
1 bunch parsley
handful of basil 
1 bunch scallions 
juice and zest of 1 lemon 

Yogurt sauce--bubbly as a result of recent blending. 

How to Make Veggie Stock
Add--carrots (3?) 2 heads of garlic, 2 quartered onions, then stems of your parley and the ends of your scallions to the bottom of a pot. Sprinkle lightly with salt.  Cover with 8 cups of water and boil, covered, for an hour. The veggies will become tasteless mush while the broths becomes fragrant and delicious. 
(Look in the veggie drawer of your fridge--anything about to go bad? Throw it in the stock)
Veggie stock ingredients. 

I toasted some bread with cheddar to dunk in the soup--YUM.
This was a great winter dinner--warm, flavorful and delicious. It's a bit time consuming, but worth the effort--though, if you're in a hurry, my original tomato-garlic soup recipe is pretty great, too. 

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