|Art on a plate|
Anyway - I just loved this soup night - as it was a perfect evening in that we all just came together and shared what we had. I had 2 pints of tomato soup that I had canned last year but then decided that was not quite enough for 6 people so I did a batch of the one below to add to it as we've got plenty of tomatoes up here right now, and I turned my stale bread into croutons! Then Paula had some new cheeses and some opened cheeses and then everyone brought some slightly opened wines (they are all in the wine business) and with Sarah's salad it was truly a shared meal. Next month Sarah and Kevin are hosting in their new home - can't wait!
Tomato Bread Soup
1/4 cup olive oil
1 onion chopped
2 carrots chopped
1 small fennel bulb chopped
1 clove garlic chopped
3-4 pounds chopped tomatoes
cup or so of chicken broth (depends on how juicy your tomatoes are)
1/2 loaf of country bread (I used mine of course ; )
salt and pepper
sprinkling of chopped basil
grated parmesan (if you don't have an amazing cheese course!)
Place oil and onions, carrots and fennel in a large pot and sauté until softened. The veggies don't need to be finely chopped because this all gets pureed. Add the garlic and tomatoes and cook until broken down - about 30-40 min. Then put it all through a food mill - this is essential and you don't have to peel the tomatoes! Put back in the pot and add the broth - if too thick you can add more or less broth depending on how juicy your tomatoes are - a lot of heirloom ones can be quite liquidy and you may not need any broth. In the meantime make your croutons. Cut off the crusts and chop into bit sized cubes then toss with some olive oil - couple tablespoons and s&p and place on a baking sheet at 400 degrees for about 12 min, tossing once. You want them browned and crispy. Serve the soup with a handful of croutons, sprinkling of basil and a grating of cheese if you like. Soup can be frozen without bread.
PS. Yes we felt the earthquake last night - woke us up at 3:20 am - only damage was a picture frame fell off a bookshelf and broke. I will consider myself lucky on this one!