October 01, 2010

Tomato Basil Soup & Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars


Mmmm.. especially in the fall on a cold day.  With a crusty piece of sourdough bread, squishy soft in the middle?  Delicious... :)

With the exception of mom's chicken & rice soup, I've never really made it from scratch.  Seemed too daunting.  For those that make soup all the time... I know!  All of these crazy misconceptions I have... that are just CRAZY!  Recently, however, I've been working as a bakery manager at a local bakery/cafe and soup is something I have to make everyday.  Talk about the universe making you overcome your fears.  And looking back?  What a silly, silly fear to have... RIDONKULOUS.

Soup is one of the easiest, healthiest and most delicious ideas in all of mankind!  Today, if you're scared of soup (it's painful just writing it) like I was, I'm going to teach you how.

10-12 tomatoes (all different shapes & sizes iffen you'd like!)
2-3 onions (dependant on size)
3 cloves of garlic
2-3 T olive oil
sprinkle of salt & pepper
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
3/4 cup heavy cream
3 leaves of fresh basil

This makes about two or three bowls.  Definitely feel free to double, triple or even guadrunkleduck the recipe!! (Guadrunkleduck is three less than the number for 'infinity,' if you didn't know.  That's a lie).

Now first, let me describe the concept of making soup because once you have that down, you really can use any veggies you've got in your fridge!

Soup is all about roasting the hells bells out of your veggies and pureeing it in a blender or Cuisinart (aka: veggie torture device).  You add that puree to a little chicken stock and let it simmer.  Add some heavy cream.  And finally your fresh herbs at the end and you're done.  Easy, right?

So here, I've cut my tomatoes in half.  Chopped up my onions a little bit and added my cloves.  Then you want to drizzle the olive oil in your hands & rub down all the 'maters & onions & garlic until they're nice and shiny.  Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.

Then you're going to roast them in the oven on 350 for about 40-60 minutes or until they begin to look like the 80 year old versions of themselves! 

The concept is to roast your veggies to the point where they fall apart in a Cuisinart.  We want to sauna our veggies to death, folks.  Roast them into delicious submission. 

Then put your chicken broth in a big pot and let it simmer on low.  Go watch some Gilmore Girls...

When the veggies are roasted, throw them in a blender or a Cuisinart.  Blend them until they just cain't be blended no more!  Add the puree to the chicken stock & bring to a boil.  Once it boils reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 30 minutes.

Add the heavy cream.  Simmer for another ten.
Add the chopped fresh basil leaves.  Simmer for five.

And EAT IT!!!  :)

Easy queasy.
(Beautiful cover girl).

But wait, what's this!? 


I couldn't help it.  :)

Happy Autumn, everyone!!!  It's October!!  Stay warm!  Stay frightened!  Halloween's a-comin'! 

Soup slurpin',

P.S.  Every time I think of soup, I'm always reminded of 'Newsies.'  When David brings Jack home for dinner & his dad says, 'Why don't you go and add a little more water to the soup.  This is a celebration!'  Anybody?  Just me.  *sigh*  God, I love that movie.


Sarah said...

You always come up with the greatest references to random childhood movies (Newsie, Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken). I love it!

The soup sounds delicious! I love making soup.

MandiCrocker said...

Thanks Miss Sarah!! I'm a sucker for all things related to memories of my childhood! Ever seen 'Girls Just Wanna Have Fun?' Well if you haven't... YOU SHOULD. ;)