Triple Tomato Soup
A Triple Play
Today was sunny, but as evening approaches there is a definite chill in the air. Time to make soup, and this one doesn't take very long to do.
I'm watching a baseball game as I write this article—a triple play doesn't happen very often in baseball. But, in keeping my promise to feature some low-calorie recipes, I found a "triple play" that is pretty easy to achieve.
The inspiration for this recipe came from Better Homes and Gardens. Their website has a "Triple Tomato Soup." There were only two comments—one reviewer loved it, but didn't stick to the recipe. The other followed the recipe and complained that it was "bland." Since I've not made this recipe (yet), I need to put on my Sherlock Holmes cap to find a solution to ramping up the flavor without increasing calories.
My first rule is "always use the best ingredients." If you use canned tomatoes, use the best ones you can find—not the generic bottom-price variety. Secondly, use fresh herbs whenever possible. And my last rule is think about your cooking technique. Is there some way of encouraging more flavor out of these ingredients?
What about the canned tomatoes? A lot of the work has already been done—they are peeled, diced, and "cooked." They also contain lots of natural sugars, so why not caramelize them in the oven? Here's my approach to "Tomato Soup to the 3rd Power."
- 2 14-oz. cans diced tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1/2 cup celery, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3/4 cup sundried tomatoes, (not oil packed)
- 1/2 of a 6-oz. can tomato paste (no salt added)
- 1 14-oz. can chick broth
- 1 tablespoon fresh sage, minced
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
- 2 tsp. lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
- Strain canned tomatoes, reserving juices. Spread canned tomatoes on large baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Roast in oven about until caramelized, about 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, sauté onion, celery, and garlic in large saucepan until softened, about 10 minutes.
- Add the roasted canned tomatoes, reserved tomato juices, sun-dried tomatoes, broth, sage, and bay leaf. Simmer until vegetables are very tender, about 20 minutes.
- Remove bay leaf. Puree soup in pot with immersion blender until smooth. Stir in chopped parsley and lemon juice. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
What makes this recipe work?
- Canned tomatoes are relatively inexpensive and much of the "prep" work has already been done for you.
- Roasting the tomatoes coaxes another layer of flavor out of the tomatoes, emphasizing their sweet character.
- Sun-dried tomatoes are highly-concentrated tomato flavor.
- Bay leaf and parsley provide an herby green note.
- Lemon juice brightens and enhances the flavors without the addition of salt.
© 2011 Linda Lum