Hallelujah Tomato Soup

I always get the most creative when it comes to soup.

I guess it’s because soup is forgiving. It takes a lot to screw up soup.

Anyway, I’ve made a lot of tomato soups, and frankly, just kind of did it by what I had, and so forth.

But this one turned out so good, that I figured I better write it down so I would remember the ingredients for the next time.

This is just a perfect meal on a chilly late-fall to winter day. Make it with a toasted cheese sandwich to which you’ve given proper attention (not American cheese on Wonder bread), and you have  a fine satisfying and comforting meal.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 leeks, cleaned and chopped to a small dice
  • 2 carrots, shredded
  • 2 ribs celery
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, micro-planed
  • 4 cups tomatoes (from cans or fresh)
  • 1 tsp salt, more or less depending on whether you are using salted canned tomatoes
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2/3 c dry red wine
  • 2 Tbsp fresh flat-leafed parsley
  • 1 pt cream

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Saute in your soup pot the veggies, until softened and translucent. Add the garlic and continue until fragrant.
  2. Add the tomatoes, seasonings, and wine
  3. Cover and simmer on low for an hour.
  4. Cool, and then ladle the solids to the blender or food processor and puree.
  5. Return to pot and stir in the parsley.
  6. Reheat, and take off the heat and add the cream. Warm if necessary.

Serves: 6

NOTE: you can substitute onions for the leeks. I just had them and needed to use them up. I would say a small one. Also, nix the wine if you wish. Or add some chicken stock, if you need more juice. And you may wish to eat it chunky and not puree it at all. As I said, soup is pretty forgiving.

 

Oh My Pico de Gallo!

Oh salsa is the new ketchup. Everyone agrees. At least all who count agree.

I tried my first homemade salsa and never went back. It’s easy to put together, so don’t shy away from the fresh taste that is so much better than that cooked bottled crap.

You can leave it chunky, or you can whirr it up in the food processor for a more “sauce” kinda consistency. Either way, it goes with just about everything. From traditional dishes like chips, tacos and so forth, to scrambled eggs, over oven-roasted chicken or fried fish, this stuff makes it special.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 c diced tomatoes, fresh or canned (if canned, drain first, if fresh seed)
  • 1/2 c finely diced onion (red or white)
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, grated on a microplane or worked into a paste if you are using a knife.
  • 1/2 chopped cilantro (must be fresh)
  • 1-2 finally chopped jalapeñoes, seeded or not, depending on how much heat you want
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 lime juiced and zested
  • 1 TBSP EVOO

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Mix it all together
  2. Let it stand for a couple of hours if you can, outside the fridge. I think it’s at its best at room temp.