Friday, February 29, 2008

Surviving Winter with Tomato-Balsamic Soup

Inspired in part by Mark Bittman's post on roasting canned tomatoes (for those of us who are torn between our cravings for veggies and our unwillingness to buy out-of-season shlock), and in part by a recipe recommended by a reader, I made a roasted tomato-balsamic soup last night.

The two recipes essentially got combined -- 3 14.5 oz cans of tomatoes, halved, and roasted for 40 minutes with 3 Tbs. balsamic vinegar and 1 Tbs soy sauce. In the mean time, I sauteed a chopped onion and 5 (!!) garlic cloves, before adding the tomatoes and their liquid and the glass-ful of tomato juice I'd reserved from the cans. Cook a little longer, vroom-vroom it, sprinkle with freshly ground pepper, and the result was served with a green salad, homemade French bread, cheese, and one of the 1990 Bert Simon Riesling Auslese bottles that we've been babying. On a side note, we've finally drunk our way through the bottles with rotten corks, and D is thinking of long-term cellaring 7 out of the 10 remaining bottles. The wine's still got enough acidity left that, if the upcoming move doesn't kill it, it could age quite nicely for another 5 years or so (I'm pulling this number out of my arse).

The soup mostly worked. The vibe was tres French bistro, urbanely vegetarian, and the tomato soup robust. I like the roasting canned tomato technique, it might just get me through the rest of winter. But the proportions dictated by the Kitchen Assistant recipe were a little intense for me... maybe overpowering is a better word. D liked it just fine. Maybe I'll try out Bittman's more delicate thyme seasoning next time.

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