Thursday, September 6, 2012

Tomato basil soup

I think I've told you about my most prized possession before. It is a cookbook my mom sent around to all our family members before I left for college, so everyone could write their favorite family recipes for me in their own handwriting. It has my late Grandma Mary's handwriting in there, it has my late Grandpa Jim's dictation of how to make his Sunday chili, it has Big Dan's famous stinkbait recipe....and I cherish the whole kit and kaboodle. I've cooked out of it a lot, I've even shared some with you, like Aunt Nicki's chicken pot pie.
Well, for my recent bridal shower in Rochester thrown by my cousin Betsy on the Kratoska side, I received an equally special gift in the form of a cookbook with more handwritten recipes from a lot of family I didn't have included in the original book. I have a post in the works about the amazing spread Betsy had laid out for us at the shower and will share some pics of the great weekend as well. I'm so excited to start making homemade apple pies with my new pie dish and apple corer, I look freaking goooooood in my new apron (Main Man says so), and I just couldn't wait to make the first recipe in the book to get good use out of the new soup tureen and bowls I received!  This recipe came from my Aunt Kris, and it was given to her from the head chef at a corporate building she worked at in Minneapolis before she moved to Arizona and begged him for it. This is a lightened up version of that soup but it is scrumdiddlyumptious, even if it skinny!
4 (14 oz) cans diced tomatoes
2 carrots, finely chopped
2 small onions, finely chopped
4 stalks celery, finely chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
olive oil
1 quart milk (I used skim)
1/2 cup fresh chopped parsley
1 cup fresh chopped basil
1/2 cup flour
1 cup heavy cream (I used half and half)
1 t salt (I omitted this)
1 T sugar (I omitted this)
1 teaspoon cayenne (or to taste)
1.5 jalapenos processed to liquid in the food processor (I added this myself)
Saute all veggies and garlic in soup pot in olive oil until soft. Puree 3 cans of tomatoes, bay leaf, and jalapenos (if added) in food processor. Add this and remaining can of diced tomatoes (with juice) to veggies. Heat on medium. In separate bowl whisk together 2 cups milk and all the flour. Pour into tomato mixture and stir while thickening. Add remainder of milk and cream. Stir well. Add salt, sugar, and cayenne if using.  Simmer on low to medium heat at least 20 minutes to allow flavors to meld. Stire frequently to preven burning of milk and cream. Just before serving, add parsley and basil. Stir and serve (Makes about 16 cups).
I actually used my own tomatoes from the garden, blanched, peeled, and processed them in the food processor until they were the consistency I wanted...mainly liquid with some crushed chunks. You don't have to go to that amount of work unless you are a food hoarder and hate wasting your organic veggies rather than buying food. I also ate this for 2 nights with a sore throat from my puh-monia and froze the rest to thaw and enjoy when it gets a little cooler in the Fall. How awesome is it to have homemade soup to enjoy without having to do the work to get it?? Spectacularly awesome, that's how awesome. Main Man liked this way better than the roasted tomato soup with grilled cheese croutons, although he did say some grilled cheese croutons would be a nice addition. We'll see if he's lucky when I thaw this out...

Oh, how cute are you...I could just eat you up. And then I did :) Happy Thursday, all!

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