Monday, October 8, 2012

Date Night Dinner: Roasted Tomato Basil Soup

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As I mentioned, work has been busy the last couple of weeks; but no one was more thrilled than I was when I was invited by the CFO to attend the budget meeting at a property in Chicago.  So, on Monday morning, I woke up at 4.45 a.m.  I took a car to La Guardia (you don't think I'd make John take me that early, do you?!).  I was in Chicago by 9 a.m., met the CFO, and we headed to the Hotel for the meeting.

Work is work - I'll skip over the boring bits and get to what you really care about...lunch!  The food lover that I am enjoyed every single bit of it, but what I enjoyed most was the Roasted Tomato Basil Soup.  When the executive chef came down to see how we were doing, what would any good blogger do?  Yep, I pulled him aside, pulled out a business card, and asked him for the recipe.  He promised he would immediately send it but he had a warning "this soup is simple - it is only as good as your ingredients".
Sure enough, the recipe came through a few minutes later.  I was home, watching Monday Night Football - ironically in Chicago - by 10 p.m.  The rest of the week was work as normal but I couldn't get the soup out of my mind.  What else could I do, but make it?  This weekend, John and I headed down to Union Square's Green Market.  I bought the tomatoes and basil as fresh as possible and came home and made this for the remainder of the day.  Roasting my own tomatoes, sauteing leeks and carrots, blending this soup to perfection.  My idea of a perfect day.
Roasted Tomato Basil Soup (compliments of a Chicago Hotel)
Serves:  8
5 pounds tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons freshly cracked black pepper
4 ounces unsalted butter
1 cup carrots, diced
1 cup leeks, diced
1/2 cup basil leaves
1/4 cup parsley leaves
2 cups heavy cream (for healthier purposes, I substituted fat free half and half)
salt and pepper, to taste (about 1/2 tablespoon of each)

Boil a large pot of water.  Prepare an ice water bath.  Take the bottom of the tomato and gently pierce the skin in an X-shape, being careful not to make a deep cut.  Boil the tomatoes (2-3 at a time), until the skins start to split.  Immediately place tomatoes in an ice bath.  Peel the tomatoes (the skins should separate easily.  Roughly dice the tomatoes and lay them out in a single layer on a cookie sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Roast the tomatoes for about 30 minutes, until they begin to caramelize.  Meanwhile, in a large pot, melt the butter.  Add carrots and leeks and stir for 10-15 minutes, until softened.  Add roasted tomatoes.  Let simmer for 20 minutes.  Add basil, parsley, and heavy cream.  Simmer for an additional 10 minutes.  Using an immersion blender, blend the soup until desired consistency (the hotel served it and I loved it just a little chunky).  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Serve immediately (with some delicious bread)!
Until the next time my oven is on...

6 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing - absolutely delicious....

    ReplyDelete

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Welcome! I'm Dani (aka the Growing Foodie), just a girl balancing her career and passion for all things edible in NYC. I hope you'll join me in my adventures in life, through food. (Click for More)
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