Thursday, December 18, 2008

Slow Roasted Tomato Soup

Weird things are going on in Southern California. The heavens have opened and rain is pouring down. Cold temperatures have hit and snow has hit abnormal levels. While a trip to the farmers market brings the normal fall/winter foods of root vegetables, winter squash, and wonderful greens, there are also still tons of berries, asparagus, and other foods that people in say, Illinois only see in the middle of summer (think, figs). This time of year tends to be a time of excess and I am no exception. I am just feeling stuffed full of things that I don't normally eat. For example, yesterday, my friend and I made plans to have a long, boozy lunch at Saddle Ranch. While the food at Saddle Ranch is nothing special (besides GINORMOUS portions), the bottomless mimosas and bloody marys for ten bucks are nothing to laugh at. My friend stood me up for TV star drama, but I ended up eating way too much of my bland (4 egg!!) omelet and having several mimosas on my own. By the time I got home, my body was begging me...pleading with me to please be nicer to it. I am trying not to cook too many things before I leave for Hawaii in five days, but I still have to get through the next few days and weekend. A quick browse through my freezer led me to a rather large bag of slow roasted tomatoes. As I mentioned, we still have berries and asparagus at our farmers market, but tomatoes are one of things that have disappeared almost completely. I am so glad I thought to buy a bunch of them every week when they were in season and put them through the delicious slow roasting process.

This is a really simple soup. I decided to go vegan on this one and use some home made vegetable stock. I thought I would jazz it up (and make it a less puke-y color) by garnishing it with some fried garlic (garlic lightly fried in olive oil until golden, season with the oil), and some fresh parsley and leaving a couple of whole tomato slices in there (if you squint, you can see them). Since my stock and tomatoes were already pretty well seasoned, I went very light on the seasonings in the soup. I kind of just threw things in that I needed to use up. This was such a tasty soup and so light. Of course, I really like a lot of my food to have a little kick so the red pepper flakes added a nice background heat. I was pleasantly surprised by the garlic chips on top which is something I have never tried before and thought I had kind of failed at, but they were delish. Cold, rainy night...warm soup...does it get better?

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Slow Roasted Tomato Soup
(By Esi)

10 slow roasted tomatoes
1 medium onion, diced
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 shallot, minced
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 or 2 sprigs fresh thyme
Dash of dried oregano
Dash of dried red pepper flakes
2 cups vegetable stock
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Garlic chips for garnish (optional)
Flat-leaf parsley for garnish (optional)

In a large stock pot, heat some olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and shallot and saute until translucent, about ten minutes. Add the garlic and thyme sprigs and cook for an additional 1 to 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, if they are frozen, cook until heated through.

Add the vegetable stock. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes until all of the flavors have come together.

Remove the sprigs of thyme. Carefully ladle the soup into a blender and pulse until blended, leaving some chunks if desired. Serve warm, topped with fried garlic and/or parsley if desired.

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Erica said...

Sounds like a pretty filling lunch :) Your soup looks great! I wish Josh was a bigger tomato fan, i'd make things like this all the time!

vanillasugarblog said...

I saw that wild weather going on in your parts. Not fun for you. Try having rain every other day, no sun till April...ugh.
Well, at least you're keeping very busy cooking up a storm.

The Food Librarian said...

Hasn't the weather been a trip? And the boiler is out at work so it is colder inside than outside! Great looking and comforting soup!

Thistlemoon said...

Tomato soup is my all time favorite of soups. This looks delicious! I hope you have a great trip, Esi!

Diana said...

I love tomato soup! Especially on cold, rainy nights with a grilled cheese sandwich to go with it! I had soup last night also, but it was of the box variety. Shhh don't tell the foodie police! (It was actually really good though...) ;)

eatingclubvancouver_js said...

I wish I had the foresight of stashing slow roasted tomatoes for the winter. Great-looking soup!

Reeni said...

Awesome soup! I bet the fried garlic was terrific on top. How lucky you are to still have berries and such. Soon you'll be leaving that crazy weather for paradise!

Esi said...

The sun is out today, but it's still cold!

Dawn - yeah, I guess it could be worse.

Food Librarian - I am feeling your pain today. I am wearing a scarf and jacket indoors!

Diana - Your secret is safe with me :)

Heather said...

this post has just made me jealous! what a perfect place to live for farmers market.

Unknown said...

my my, so jealous of your farmers market!!

Anonymous said...

We'd like to dip one of your parm thyme crackers in this. Sounds so good.