March 1, 2012

Tomato, Saffron, and Roasted Garlic Soup

As a child I hated tomato soup and I would do anything to avoid it. In daycare I even spilt it so I didn’t have to eat it. We never had it at home because nobody liked it, and who could blame us. Back then most tomato soup was a can of Campbell’s and I still remember that tinny taste. Fast forward to my days at university when I first tasted Gazpacho at a restaurant where I was working and consequently fell in love with it. Since then I’ve experimented a bit with tomato soup and have found that I really like it – as long as it’s good (no offense Campbell’s).

This recipe was found when I was looking for something new. And I’m sure it would be perfect with fresh tomatoes, but there’s a bunch of snow outside and I’m not going to pay a fortune at the grocery store. There are however canned tomatoes, and with the flavours of this soup, they’ll do just fine. The only recommendation I have for making this soup is to roast the garlic ahead of time when you already have the oven on. It seems a little silly to heat up the oven just for one little head of garlic. I also used some red wine instead of the sherry and it still tasted wonderful.

For a day of horrible snow and cold a pot of this soup will put warm thoughts into your head instead.

Tomato, Saffron, and Roasted Garlic Soup    (from Fields of Greens)
5 cups vegetable stock and 2 cups chopped canned tomatoes, warmed
1 head of garlic brushed with olive oil
2 lbs fresh tomatoes, peeled and seeded (3 cups), or 1-28 oz can of tomatoes with juice
1 tbs olive oil
1 medium onion, diced (2 cups)
¼ tsp dried thyme
Salt and pepper
1 medium carrot, diced (3/4 cup)
1 celery rib, diced (1/2 cup)
1 medium yellow or red pepper, diced (3/4 cup)
5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
½ cup dry sherry
2-3 pinches saffron threads
1 bay leaf
3 tbs chopped Italian parsley
Grated parmesan cheese
Place whole garlic head in a small baking dish and roast for 30 mins at 350°, or until soft. When the garlic cools, cut off the tops and squeeze the garlic out of the skin and puree with the tomatoes in a blender. Heat the olive in a pot and add the onion, thyme, ½ tsp salt and a pinch of pepper. Saute over medium heat for 5 mins then add carrot, celery, peppers, and chopped garlic, Cook together until tender then add the sherry and cook for 1-2 mins, until the pan is almost dry. Add the tomato-garlic puree, ½ tsp pepper, pinch of pepper, saffron, bayleaf, and the stock. Cover and cook over low heat for 30 mins. Add more salt and pepper if desired and garnish each serving with parsley and parmesan.


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