Wednesday, July 11, 2012

roasted tomato, basil and bacon soup



Summer Tomatoes!! Oh, how I love thee.   Three times this week, some great tomatoes came my way. 



First, with these little beauties in my Farmhouse Delivery bushel from a local Texas farm.



Next, from Dad's garden (thank you, Dad!).  And finally, I came across some gorgeous Alabama "Mountain Grown" tomatoes at my local Farmer's Market here in Houston.



Add to that the green, green, green basil growing only  feet from my kitchen... MUST make roasted tomato soup.  And celebrate... SO. MUCH. FLAVOR. 

Coarsely chop into halves or wedges an assortment of ripe Summer tomatoes and roast in the oven, intensifying all that already-sweet-goodness. 





Add to that sweet vidalia onion, basil and turkey bacon, with a bit of stock. 



Make it creamy with the addition of some milk. 



Ladle into crocks...



Top with toasted baguette croutons and shredded cheese...



and broil to golden goodness. 





OH.  MY. 




roasted tomato, basil and bacon soup
(serves 4 as a main course, 6 as a starter)

3 1/2 pounds assorted variety ripe summer tomatoes, cored (about 8 cups coarsely chopped)
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus 1/2 tablespoon
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon butter
5 slices turkey bacon, chopped
1 large vidalia onion, coarsely chopped
2 fat cloves garlic, grated
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 cup torn fresh basil
1 cup milk
basil for garnish
croutons
shredded mozzarella or gruyere cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment or foil.  Place your coarsely chopped tomatoes in a single layer on the sheet and toss with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.  Roast in oven for about 40 minutes. 

Heat the butter and 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil over medium high heat in a dutch oven or heavy bottom soup pot.  Add your onion and bacon and saute until the bacon is crisp, about 8 minutes.  Add in the garlic and saute 1 minute more.  Stir in roasted tomatoes and all the juice from the pan, scraping the browned bit from the pot while you stir.  Bring to a simmer.  Add in chicken stock, and season with 1/2 teaspoon salt.  Add in basil, cover partially and allow to simmer for about 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Stir in your milk and warm through on low.  Season with additional salt, if needed, and pepper to taste. 

Ladle soup into oven proof crocks.  Top each crock with  toasted baguette crouton slices, and top with shredded mozzarella.  Place under the broiler until the cheese is melted, bubbly and beginning to brown in places.

Great served along side a green salad tossed with a buttermilk/yogurt herb dressing.



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