Friday, November 9, 2007

Spicy Tomato Soup

For some reason my favorite soup is a hearty tomato soup. Gourmet magazine had this spicy version. I have been trying to eat spicy since my husband seems to enjoy it a lot and I thought I might be missing out on something. You can cut back on spiciness by omitting the seeds of the jalapenos.

Besides leaving out the jalapeno sees, I made a couple of other changes to the original recipe: I didn't use the sieve at the end because I loved the thicker texture. I also added a little bit of heavy cream (at the end) to make it creamier. (I'm sure you can also use low fat half and half to cut back on some calories. ) And then I added a little bit of parmesan cheese, just because I love it, with garlic croutons. It was mammma mia:)))

I've also added a basic garlic crouton recipe at the end. Sometimes I make them in a pan instead of the oven, but you need to watch closely. The rascals can look like they're going to take some time but they can burn in a jiffy. You can prepare them one day ahead and store in an airtight container. They're also fantastic in salads.

Prefer the taste of organic canned tomatoes in this particular recipe, as they tend to be sweeter. If using other canned tomatoes, you might want to add a bit more sugar to balance their acidity.


SPICY TOMATO SOUP

Ingredients:
2 (28- to 32-oz) cans whole tomatoes in juice (preferably organic)
1 large onion, coarsely chopped (2 1/4 cups)
2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh jalapeño chile including seeds
2 teaspoons finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 1/4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth (18 fl oz)
1 tablespoon sugar, or to taste
2 teaspoons salt, or to taste

Directions:
Drain 1 can tomatoes, discarding juice, then purée with remaining can tomatoes (including juice) in a blender. (You can also use a stick electric mixer in the pot, it's less messier.)

Cook onion, garlic, chile, and ginger in oil in a 4- to 5-quart heavy nonreactive pot over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until onion is softened, about 8 minutes. Add cumin and cook, stirring, 1 minute.

Stir in puréed tomatoes, broth, 1 tablespoon sugar, and 2 teaspoons salt and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 20 minutes.

Working in 3 or 4 batches, blend soup in blender until smooth (use caution when blending hot liquids). Transfer soup as blended to a sieve set over a large bowl and force through sieve, discarding seeds.

Stir in sugar and salt to taste. Reheat in cleaned saucepan if necessary.

Makes 4 servings.

GARLIC CROUTONS

Ingredients:
1/2 cup olive oil (preferably extra-virgin)
3 garlic cloves, minced
8 ounces crusty white bread, cut into 1-inch pieces

Directions:
Preheat oven to 300°F.

Mix 1/2 cup olive oil and 3 minced garlic cloves in large bowl. Add bread pieces and toss to coat. Arrange bread in single layer on large baking sheet. Bake until golden, stirring once, about 20 minutes.

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