Yes tomato dill soup! ~ Ham Pie Sandwiches

14 November 2008

Yes tomato dill soup!

I had originally made tomato dill soup, by which I mean "Shaker soup" from the 12 Months of Monastery Soups cookbook, something like ten years ago. You know you live in a cold climate when you buy a book like that. Soup! This particular one has a tomato base with lots of dried dill and sour cream: totally good and thorough and rich. Apparently the Shaker community had lots of 1. vegetables and 2. cows.

Of course now I barely ever eat sour cream. I didn't buy it the entire four years we lived in California, and only ate it on veggie plates at Taqueria Los Charros; I bought and drained plain yogurt to use in naan and on hot lentil soup instead.

In this instance I just wanted a soup of all vegetable. I also had a big bunch of fresh dill.

Tomato dill soup

crushed tomatoes or puree
a shallot
olive oil
vegetable broth
salt, pepper
a little dried oregano and basil
a bay leaf
lots of fresh dill, or dried

Super easy.

Dice up a shallot and soften it in olive oil at the bottom of a soup pot. You can add red onion or garlic too, or substitute them if you need to. Add a little oregano and basil, or other dried green herbs that sound good. Thyme and marjoram both work well with tomato. Make sure to use only a Little; we're just going for a basic green background to set off the dill.

While the shallot softens, make some vegetable broth with your shallot trimmings and whatever other vegetables or trimmings you have around. I used a lot of spinach and parsley stems, plus a couple green onions. Just throw them in a pot of water and simmer it for a while. You can also use broth out of the freezer, or a cube or can if you want. Or you can put plain water in the soup later; it will be less intensely flavored, but will still work.

Add your tomato to the softened shallot. I used about half a 24-oz can of crushed tomatoes with basil. Mix it up.

When the broth has colored, add several cups of it to the tomato and shallot. You can keep it cooking down and evaporating on the other burner, then adding more intensely flavored broth occasionally, if you feel like it. Stir up the soup pot, bring it to a simmer, and let it cook for at least ten or fifteen minutes. Keep the lid on if your soup is a good texture; leave it off for evaporation if your soup is too liquid. Salt and pepper at an appropriate point. If you happen to only have dried dill, let it simmer for the ten minutes too.

While the soup is simmering, strip about a quarter of a bunch of fresh dill stems and chop the leaves. You may be tempted to add the dill stems to your broth; don't. If you cook dill stems, they will give the resulting soup a definite whiff of dill pickle brine. You do Not want that. Throw them into the compost pile instead.

When the soup is done, take it off the heat and let it stand for a few minutes to cool slightly. Make some toast while you're waiting. Then mix the dill into the soup.

I have no idea where our normal ladle is. Therefore: GRAVYLADLE.

Serve the soup. If you have any extra dill, and you're feeling fancy, throw a pinch on top of each bowl. Woo! You could also garnish with a cream product, if you have such a desire. In that case, put the dill on top of everything. High contrast!

Eat with green tea and toast.

You should really dip your toast into the soup. I had wheat, but any decent high-grain bread should work fine.

This kind of food requires a rainy day, or at least an overcast one, and a nice grey view out the window while you eat and have another cup of green tea and read a book.

1 comment:

caralee said...

Sounds delicious. I just had a friend bring me dinner and it was something very similar. I have never had anything like it and I went searching for a recipe. I think she added several different types of veggies to her soup, but the base is same.