Let me start by saying that I’m not a food blogger. Nor am I a food stylist or a food photographer. But everyone has to eat; and I have a few favorite recipes that are worth sharing. So I bring you the first food post on my new blog. Hopefully, I’ll figure out a bit more of the food styling/food photography stuff as I go, but I’ve got to start somewhere, right?
There’s no better place to start than with comfort food. This time of year, I pretty much want to eat soup every night. And when the soup is this good, it might be possible. I’m not really one for inventing recipes; but I do take a good recipe and play with it until I make it my own. This is my version of the Summer Tomato and Basil soup found in the Nordstrom Friends and Family cookbook (I think it may be out of print now, so I’m holding on really tight to my copy), but you can still find a few floating around on Amazon.
A couple helpful tips when you’re making this soup:
- The original recipe calls for low-sodium chicken broth, but I think the regular broth tastes better in this recipe.
- Please, please, please be careful when puréeing your soup. There’s one kitchen ceiling in a California apartment that still wears the proof of the Blender Explosion of 2009. Seriously, this hot soup can knock the lid right off your blender. And I promise you, there’s nothing worse that hot soup flying all over your kitchen and body, so work in small batches, use the pulse button, and hold on tight!
- This recipe also works great with other types of pasta (orzo, farfalle, etc.) so use whatever you like. It’s also great without pasta.
Here’s the recipe:
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 5 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 1 1/2 tablespoon dried basil
- 2 cans (28 ounces each) whole Italian-style tomatoes
- 2 cartons (48 ounces each) chicken broth
- 2 cans (8 ounces each) tomato sauce
- 2 cups heavy cram
- 1/2 tablespoon garlic salt
- large package of cheese tortellini
- Kosher salt
- Cook the tortellini according to package directions, drain and set aside, or refrigerate.
- In a large stockpot, over medium heat warm the oil and swirl to coat the bottom of the pot.
- Add the carrots, onion, and dried basil.
- Sauté, stirring occasionally, until softened. (about 20 min.)
- Drain the tomatoes, and add to the pot.
- Add 1 1/2 cartons of chicken broth (save the extra for later so you can adjust the consistency).
- Add tomato sauce and garlic salt
- Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered for 20-30 minutes.
- Remove from heat & let cool for 20 minutes.
- Working in small batches, purée the soup in a blender or food processor.
- Return the pureed soup to the pot
- Add the cream
- Place over medium heat until heated through.
- Season to taste with salt & pepper.
- To make ahead: Make the soup, puree and stop before adding the cream. Put in a container and refrigerate until ready to serve. Before serving, return to heat, add the cream and proceed with the directions.
- Tip: I like my soup a bit thicker, so start slow with the chicken broth, you can always add more to make the soup thinner.
- Important: If your soup is still a bit warm when you purée it, make sure to use the pulse setting on your blender. And go slow! The hot soup can blow the lid off the blender. So hold on tight!