Summer Denial

Monday, August 23, 2010

Before I start whining about my hatred of Sacramento summers, I'll preface this by saying that this might be the most mild summer season I've ever experienced here. I'm not sure it's gotten over 100-degrees here in three months. It's usually 128-degrees in August. Ok, that's a ridiculous overstatement, but I just roll like that. So, on a summer evening with the thermometer kicking in at 68 degrees, I'm in the mood for some soup. What of it? And, tomatoes taste better in the summer, so I suggest you roll with this, too. Dee-licious Tomato Soup (alongside my award-winning grilled cheese. Because, why would you eat tomato soup without grilled cheese, you weirdo?) Serves roughly 6ish. Or 3 hungry peeps. 3 tablespoons good olive oil 1 1/2 cups chopped red onions (2 onions) 2 carrots, unpeeled and chopped 1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves) 4 pounds vine-ripened tomatoes, coarsely chopped (5 large) 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar 1 tablespoon tomato paste 1/4 cup packed chopped fresh basil leaves, plus julienned basil leaves, for garnish 3 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade 1 tablespoon kosher salt 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper 3/4 cup heavy cream Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-low heat. Add the onions and carrots and saute for about 10 minutes, until very tender. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, sugar, tomato paste, basil, chicken stock, salt, and pepper and stir well. Bring the soup to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer, uncovered, for 30 to 40 minutes, until the tomatoes are very tender. Add the cream to the soup and process it through a food mill into a bowl, discarding only the dry pulp that's left. Reheat the soup over low heat just until hot and serve with julienned basil leaves.

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