Friday, November 12, 2010

Let's Lunch! Fall soups edition

Happy Let's Lunch day, gang! I was very excited when we chose fall soups for our November theme -- not because I'm a great soup maker, but because I was dying to see what everyone else was going to make.

I went simple: roasted tomato soup. I didn't really follow a particular recipe, just combined steps I liked or sounded good from a couple of sources.

The result was awesome. Jake and I have both been eating a lot of tomato soup lately -- and this was a great way to bring down the salt levels, and make a more delicious (and really, just as easy) option.

So, I started by roasting a bunch of tomatoes. I did it in 2 batches, about three large cans of diced tomatoes on each. I rinsed the tomatoes to get rid of any residual "can" taste and excess liquid, then seasoned with olive oil, kosher salt and pepper. About halfway through, I added a handful of crushed garlic cloves (about 8 or 10, I think) and some thinly sliced onion (maybe one small onion).

While the tomatoes were roasting, I made homemade stock. I always hang on to "odds and ends" when I'm cooking so that I can toss them in and make a richer stock. That all paid off with this batch -- the stock was silky and full bodied. It tasted amazing.

Veggies! Leeks, celery, onion, carrots then topped with a chicken carcass, bay leaves and water. I simmered the stock while the tomatoes were roasting (about 1 hour at 450, tossing about halfway through to carmelize more of the surface)

Tomatoes, cooling on the back porch.

Stock, also cooling. I skimmed off some of that fat from the top after it had cooled.

Once both the tomatoes and stock were cooled, I mixed them in about equal portions in the food processor (yes, it would have been easier with a hand blender... but I'm still on the fence about whether or not I need one of those)

Once all of the soup had been pureed, I tossed in some soup seasoning I picked up at Penzeys (it is DANGEROUS for me to live down the street from this store...) and sprinkled some chiffonade basil, then heated through.

#letslunch is a monthly "gathering" of food-loving writers from all over, hosted by Cheryl Tan, of A Tiger In The Kitchen.

We agree on a date and a theme, then each blogger presents his or her recipe on the chosen date (today).

Cheryl's Cantonese style Winter-Melon Soup
Linda's gluten-free Oven Baked Soup
Ellise's French pumpkin Potimarron Soup
Steff's Carrot Habanero Soup
Danielle's Carrot Soup with Chicharonnes 
And, a big hug and welcome to fellow AAJA-er Mai's Apple Beer Cheese Soup

*updated: I'd like to join the toasts raised by others (in their posts and on Twitter) to Cheryl, for starting the group, and to the entire group for continuing to make it such a rich and tasty experience. Cheers, everyone.


  1. Wow! You roasted your own tomatoes?! AND made your own stock?!

    Good grief. I feel like a lazy chef now.

    But it does sound so good. I definitely have to try this for myself one of these cold Nebraska winter days.

  2. This looks so delicious! As much as I love roasted tomato soup, I've never actually made it. You're inspiring me to try...thanks for sharing the recipe!

  3. SpiceBites:

    Hmm, roasting tomatoes and adding garlic --definitely brings out the flavors! Yum :)

  4. This looks fantastic! You're so right about homemade keeping the sodium level down. Just another reason why I should seriously revisit making soup.

  5. @Steff don't be too impressed... I put them on the stove/in the oven and walked away!

    (which... you should not do if you do not have the door/window propped open, and don't like the sound of your smoke alarm going off. Don't roast dry parchment paper, I guess)

  6. That is SO something I would do. My husband keeps saying I'm going to burn our building down one day!

  7. Thankfully the door to our backporch is in the kitchen! Easy to ventilate... at least while it's still above freezing in St. Paul ;)

  8. I love your idea and the soup this month was a good idea (froze half of mine for later eaZy dinner.) I really like how you got the can-taste out, too (and forewarned about the roasting) Great recipe!

  9. this sounds amazing. i've been looking for a delicious tomato soup recipe and this just might be it! i LOVE penzeys! i use their spices all the time. have you tried penzey's soup bases? they are delicious!