Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Cream of Tomato Soup

Tomato murder was the case // Instagram @kguymon
Okay, I won't lie to you. This recipe is slightly labor-intensive. But, the extra time is totally worth the payoff because this is the best homemade tomato soup recipe I've ever tried...and I've tried a lot.

Despite the blood, sweat, and tears--and the seeming murder scene that occurs in one's sink while making this soup--it's staying in the rotation.

Cream of Tomato Soup [adapted from Smitten Kitchen]
-2 (28-ounce) cans whole tomatoes packed in juice, drained, 3 cups juice reserved
-1 1/2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
-4 tablespoons unsalted butter
-4 large shallots, minced (about 1/2 cup)
-1 tablespoon tomato paste
-Pinch ground allspice
-2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
-1 3/4 cups chicken stock, homemade or canned low-sodium
-1/2 cup heavy cream
-2 tablespoons brandy or dry sherry
-salt and cayenne pepper

1. Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 450°F. Lined rimmed baking sheet with foil. With fingers, carefully open whole tomatoes over strainer set in bowl and push out seeds, allowing juices to fall through strainer into bowl. Spread seeded tomatoes in single layer on foil. Sprinkle evenly with brown sugar. Bake until all liquid has evaporated and tomatoes begin to color, about 30 minutes. Let tomatoes cool slightly, then peel them off foil; transfer to small bowl and set aside.

2. Heat butter over medium heat in a Dutch oven until foaming. Add shallots, tomato paste, and allspice. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until shallots are softened, 7 to 10 minutes. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, until thoroughly combined, about 30 seconds. Gradually add chicken stock, whisking constantly to combine; stir in reserved tomato juice and roasted tomatoes. Cover, increase heat to medium, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, to blend flavors, about 10 minutes.

3. Use an immersion blender to puree the mixture in the Dutch oven. Add cream and cook three 3 minutes. Off heat, stir in brandy and season with salt and cayenne. Serve immediately.

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