With all that snow we had the other day I began to crave some nice hot soup. Two of my comfort soups are tomato soup and mushroom soup. Yes! Chef! was going into town to drop the youngest off at his job and I suggested that he pick up some tomato soup for me.
Needless to say, he did just what I asked and came home with a can of familiar tomato soup. He plunked the can on the counter and I thanked him very much. However, the thought of eating condensed canned tomato soup was very unappetizing, so I ate oatmeal cookies instead. (Yipes!)
The next day it was my turn to take the youngest to work, so I stopped into Safeway to see what was available. The nice thing about Safeway (and many other groceries) is that I can bring my Ipad into the store and scan my email messages or look at Facebook (neither of which I do) or…look up recipes for tomato soup.
I found this great recipe from Ina Garten at Food Network which seemed to be very easy and tasty. I ran into a friend while I was in the produce section and the next thing I knew there were bunches of basil, fresh and ripe plum tomatoes, onions, garlic and chicken stock. I had no idea I had an app for that.
Once all the makings were cozy in the shopping cart, I really had no choice but to offer them a ride home.
When I got home, I emailed the recipe to Yes! Chef! (even though he was working at home) and told him I coincidentally had all the necessary ingredients.
Today, he decided to make the soup.
First he cut the Roma Plum Tomatoes in half and tossed them with oil, salt and pepper.
I mean, really. Is there anything more luscious looking that these tomatoes?
While they were roasting he prepared the onions and garlic
He sauteed them in the pan with oil and butter and added the can of tomatoes. (As an aside, he was curious why the recipe called for both fresh and canned tomatoes. I, of course, had a ready answer…I shrugged and suggested he ask Ina.)
I must admit that I did not watch every step that Yes! Chef! did because I was editing some photos from a recent photo shoot. But I did hear him rustling around and I yelled in “Now what are you doing” every once in a while. So, because of that, I missed a shot of the nicely roasted tomatoes. He dumped them unceremoniously into the soup without letting me know. Gack! I need to start watching him like a hawk.
Then he stirred it around and let it sit so the flavors could get to know each other. (Lots of howdy-doin’s going on in the kitchen.)
After that, he got ready to use a very cool kitchen utensil that we’ve had for several years but never used…a Ricer!
The ingredients were poured into the Ricer and then the handle was turned to squeeze the chunks down into the soup.
Back onto the burner to heat the soup up and…
DONE! and DONE!
Now let me tell you how the tomato soup tasted. The roasted tomato added a nice robust flavor. The basil was apparent, but not overwhelming (surprisingly so, considering the amount of basil introduced into the recipe.) Proper seasoning (salt and pepper) brought out the flavor of the tomatoes and the red pepper flakes. I crumpled up some of those tasty flat pretzels and dumped them on the soup to add a little crunch. The soup was divine, but it does need crackers or pretzels or something a little crunchy.
It took Yes! Chef about 1 1/2 hours to make. Well worth the effort.
The recipe can be found on Food Network here: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/roasted-tomato-basil-soup-recipe/index.html
And here it is on a handy recipe card so you don’t even have to leave my website.
Now for a little photography tip. The biggest difference you can make in your photography is lighting. I try to use natural window light as much as possible. Because tungsten light is so yellow, the color of the food is distorted. Here are two photos taken of the same ingredients but in different lighting conditions.
So, try placing your food next to a large window without direct sunlight coming in and see if it makes a difference.