A blog post coming all the way from Regina, Saskatchewan! Let me start this by saying that my trip to Austin was amazing. I mean, I got to hang out with Allysia just about constantly (which was certainly the highlight of the trip, as I keep telling everyone), and then there is the city itself. Austin is an amazing city, and it is filled with amazing produce. The farmers’ markets (plural!) have great veggies and homemade things, but even the supermarkets are filled with gorgeous greens and big selections.
At one point during the trip I promised Allysia a fresh tomato-based soup. She wouldn’t let me forget this fact, and a few days later we ended up picking up the necessary ingredients and I went to work.
Fresh Tomato Soup
4 large heirloom tomatoes
2 medium shallots, diced small
1 celery stick, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 dried chipotle pepper, split in half
1/2 tbsp Better Than Boullion
2 sprigs rosemary
1/4 cup fresh basil, chiffonade
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp smoked salt
1. Remove the stems from the tomatoes and cut them into quarters. Toss the pieces in a high-speed blender and blend until smooth. If using a cheaper blender, you will need to peel the tomatoes first.
2. Empty the contents of the blender into a pot and add the shallots, celery, garlic, and chipotle. When you split the chiptole the seeds will fall out. Add the seeds to the soup for a little spicy kick, or leave the seeds out for a milder soup. I used almost all of the seeds and the soup has a little kick, but was certainly not spicy.
3. Stir in about half a tablespoon of Better Than Boullion vegetable broth paste. Bring the soup to a boil and then lower the heat. Simmer for at least ten minutes, ideally twenty to forty.
4. Strip the rosemary leaves from the twigs and roughly chop them. Add them to the pot and simmer for another ten minutes.
5. When the soup is finished cooking, stir in the salt, pepper, and basil. Remove the chipotle (leave the seeds) from the pot. Pour the soup back into the blender and blend until smooth.
We don’t normally like tomato soup, but I think that is usually due to execution and history rather than concept. The tomato soups of our collective childhoods were a simple canned affair. Bland and over-salted, with few pronounceable ingredients. This fresh soup is just the opposite. It has a metric tonne of flavor and is still incredibly easy to produce. I am sure a raw version could even be created by only changing a few amounts. Serve with some kind of dip-able sandwich for pure awesomeness.