Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Soup is my obsession...

I won't lie, I hate the cold weather. 

I cannot stand being cold. Anything colder than 70 degrees and I am freezing. A highlight of cooler weather though? Enjoying a nice bowl of steaming hot soup. This fall, I have started making my own soup concoctions. Usually, I just throw whatever veggies I picked up from the farmer's market into a pot with some veggie stock and season it to taste. This week though, I wanted to try my hand at an actual recipe. Bri and I had been talking about wanting to have tomato soup and grilled cheese so I was inspired to give it a try.  

The players, aka ingredients.

hunts tomatos organic swanson chicken broth butter seasoning

I adapted my recipe from this one, but ended up tweaking it along the way. For my version I used:

  • 1 large onion, chopped 
  • 1.5 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 cups organic chicken broth 
  • 2 cans fire roasted diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1.5 tsp. sugar
  • 3 tbsp. flour
  • sprinkles of thyme, salt, pepper, garlic powder and basil (I did this to taste, adding as I went along)
The original version had called for fresh garlic and herbs, but I just went with what I had. I also added a little more butter and flour and used fire roasted tomatoes instead of regular.

 The Process.

onions tomato soup holy noley

I started by chopping up the onion...and crying. A lot. (Cutting onions is the worst!) I am not a professional in the kitchen by any means so what you see above is about as finely as I can chop. I added this to the pot that I had melted the butter and oil in and cooked them until they were soft. 

Then I added the flour. Initially I added only two tablespoons, but added another tablespoon later because I felt it wasn't thickening up enough. 

cooking tomato soup holy noley

Finally, I added the broth, tomatoes, sugar and the seasonings. I added a little bit of each of spices at a time and tasted along the way until it was how I liked it. I let it cook for about 15 minutes on medium high heat, then covered it and let it simmer for a looooong time on low heat. In the original recipe, recommended simmer time was 40 minutes but I ended up letting it sit for a little over an hour. 

Final Step: Blending!

Once upon a time, I used the house blender to try and make homemade paper. I figured that we hardly used it and if we ever needed it, I would just buy a new one. (I had read that you shouldn't put food into a blender once you try to use it to make paper.) 

Flash forward to today. I needed a blender to take my creation from a veggie soup to a classic creamy tomato soup. Enter the mini food processor.

food processor spoon blending tomato soup holy noley

Did it take twice as long to blend my soup? Yes. 
Did I make a huge mess? Yes. 
Did it blend my soup to the classic creamy consistency that I had imagined? Nope.
But did it get the job done? Absolutely. 

The Final Product

finished product tomato soup cheese holy noley

It was delicious and yielded about 6 cups of soup. I added a bit of shredded cheese to the top as garnish and to add a cheesy element. Bri had some the next day with a grilled cheese sandwich and it was a hit!

All in all, I would say it was a successful attempt. If I make it again, I will definitely try to use fresh garlic and herbs, as well as puree the tomatoes before I put them in the pan. I also might try and use a stock instead of a broth to cut down on the sodium. 

Have you ever made soup? What is your favorite kind?

xoxo Noley

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