Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Garden Tomato Soup with No-Knead Homemade Bread

On the menu last night, Garden Tomato Soup with fresh Baked Bread (and corn on the cob of course).

Garden Tomato Soup

2 tbsp canola oil
2 cups chopped carrots
2 cups chopped celery
1 cup chopped onions
5 cloves sliced garlic
12 or more chopped tomatoes (any kind will do)

2 chopped cayenne peppers (more or less to suit your taste)
1 cup water or soup stock 
4 tbsp chopped basil (more or less to suit your taste)
salt and pepper to taste

In a very large pot, heat canola oil.
Add carrots, celery and onions.
Saute for 5 to 10 minutes until soft.
Add garlic and cook for another 3 minutes.  Do not brown.
Add chopped tomatoes, peppers, water, basil and spices. 
Bring to boil.
Let simmer for 30 to 45 minutes until tomatoes are soft and falling apart.
Use an immersion blender to mix all ingredients and chop veggies.  While you might be able to skip this step when using the food mill, I find it helps create a thicker, richer soup by grinding up the pulp and binding it with the juice.
Ladle mixture into the food mill fitted with a fine or medium blade.  I like the bit of pulp that comes through with the  medium blade and the few tomato seeds that came through add to the rustic appeal.  However, for a more sophisticated, smooth soup use the fine blade.
Serve immediately.

Note:  If the soup is too acidic, try adding one or two tablespoons of sugar with the tomatoes or add some cream or sour cream just before serving.

Makes: 12 to 15 meal sized servings (can be frozen)

By the time the bread came out of the oven, my family had surrounded me, the aroma was driving them crazy.  They weren't about to wait for me to take photos or decorate their soup with freshly picked basil leaves.  Maybe next time, I'll get to sneak a few photos of the finished product!

The bread recipe is a no-knead recipe that comes from the authors of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes. My friend Dennis started me on this bread about 2 years ago.  It is absolutely delicious and soooo easy to make.  If you make this bread, you will wow your friends and family.

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