Is it soup? Is it sauce? ~ Ham Pie Sandwiches

28 July 2008

Is it soup? Is it sauce?

Today on Eileen Chef, we'll show you how to whip up a tasty tomato soup with pureed garlic and mushrooms. I mean, we'll show you how to concoct a hearty, flavorful sauce filled with roasted vegetables. I mean, it'll be awesome.

Tomato soup with roasted business
I mean, actually it's
Gemelli with hearty tomato sauce

head of garlic
half an onion
tomatoes/tomato puree
red pepper
olive oil
salt, pepper, basil, oregano, paprika
parmesan/other hard grating cheese
for pasta: gemelli/other pasta
for soup: lots of croutons

Basic plan: roast vegetables while cooking tomatoes on the stovetop. Puree it all together. Serve with pasta or croutons. Come to think of it, why not serve with pasta and croutons? Texturally, that would probably be pretty awesome. Then you could also have a gigantic salad.

Ok! For the roast, get a handful of mushrooms and pull out their stems. I used six. Stuff each mushroom cap with a wedge of peeled, smashed garlic. Put all the mushrooms, their stems, and a bunch of diced red pepper in a reasonable roasting dish with a couple slugs of olive oil. I used a pyrex bread pan. Add some more smashed garlic for good measure; use about half the head. Put your vegetables in to roast slowly, at about 325F.

Next, peel and smash whatever's left of your head of garlic. Throw it in a big, deep saute pan or soup pot over medium heat. Dice up some onion and add it too. Spice with your basil, oregano, and paprika. Add some olive oil, stir it up, and let it all cook slowly until the onion and garlic is soft and golden.

Add a bunch of tomatoes. You can use canned or fresh, whatever you have around, as long as it's good quality. I used a 24-oz can of Glen Muir fire roasted tomatoes, which I'd gotten on sale due to various foodblog hype. Let me just say this was a bad idea. The smell and taste of these strongly suggest chemical additives instead of actual roasting, and neither went away over the course of cooking. The end result was not terrible, but it wasn't anywhere near as good as it would have been with real tomato-flavored tomatoes. Use good tomatoes!

So add tomatoes, stir, and reduce everything together.

Check on the roast and stir it up every once in a while.

Hang around in the kitchen having a glass of wine and inhaling all the deliciousness. It'll be nice.

The roast should be roasty and the tomatoes at least partly reduced somewhere near the same time. When both these conditions are true, take the roast out of the oven and scrape its contents into the tomatoes. Add some water stir, and bring the business to a simmer. Cook for a few minutes to let the flavors combine.

If you want a chunky sauce, you can stop here and serve over pasta. If you want a smooth sauce or soup, take the pan off the heat and let it cool for a minute or two. Then, if you have one, break out your immersion blender and blend everything until it's sufficiently pureed. You may need to add more water to let this work smoothly, but that's ok: you can just cook it off in a minute.

You can also use an actual blender, but in that case I'd let things cool off more before blending, and also work in batches. The immersion blender is the best idea ever.

Put the pureed sauce back on the heat, cook down to your desired thickness, and serve.

Soup: put it in a bowl, add a lot of garlic croutons (or parsley, or whatever sounds good) and eat.
Pasta: serve over pasta, with grated cheese if you like, and eat. I used a lot of cheese because I was trying to cover up the fake fire-roasted taste.

Eat a salad. Have the rest of the bottle of wine. Go to sleep sated and happy.


Sarah R said...

Soup or sauce... I don't think it matters! It looks fantastic, I'll probably toss in some chunky mushroom bits too :-)

Eileen said...

yay, thank you! you should eat it! and you can eat it with a spoon and/or fork for good measure. :)