By Jennifer Girallo
I always thought making soup was difficult; something for level 200 chefs, and that it took at least a week to simmer. I quickly learned this is not the case when I was asked to review 300 Sensational Soups by Carla Snyder and Meredith Deed.
The book supplies readers with several simple soup recipes, 300 to be exact, and everything in between like creating the stock to the little tortilla strips on top! Spoiler alert: there are dessert soups in the back!
I chose to create the Roasted Tomato and Pesto Soup, and I was really surprised at the simplicity in the recipe. Not only was it easy it was delicious and something I could eat over and over.
This dish went well with some warmed bread (see A Bread-Time Story). What I really loved was the hint of pesto on top. This added an extra layer of flavor for sure.
Soup is inexpensive and can last all week if eaten as a starter. Or can satisfy a family for dinner. This recipe in particular made my whole apartment, all 4X4 of it, smell warm and fresh.
Now, on to the dessert soups!
Roasted Tomato and Pesto Soup
3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1 tsp salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp unsalted butter
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chopped onion
¼ tsp hot pepper flakes
1 can (28oz) diced tomatoes, with juice
4 cups chicken stock
½ tsp dried thyme
1. Preheat oven 450 degrees. On baking sheet, combine cherry tomatoes, 2 tbsp (25 mL) of the oil, salt and pepper; toss to coat evenly and spread in a single layer. Roast in preheated oven until tomatoes are shriveled and have brown spots, 35 to 45 minutes.
2. In a large pot, heat butter and the remaining oil over medium heat. Add garlic, onion and hot pepper flakes; sauté until onions start to brown, about 10 minutes. Add canned tomatoes with juice, stock, thyme and roasted tomatoes, including liquid on baking sheet; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 40 minutes.
3. Using an immersion blender, or in a food processor or blender in batches, puree soup until smooth. Return to the pot, if necessary. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper if necessary.
4. Ladle into heated bowls and swirl a dollop of pesto into each.