Happy New Year's everybody! Today is a day to reflect on the year that past, for what lies ahead, and of course (for some of us) that means nursing that serious hangover. So I decided to create a soup inspired by everyone's favorite hangover cure- the bloody mary. I have never made a tomato cream soup before, nor am I really a fan of the bloody mary, but I thought it would be interesting to create a cream-based tomato soup and enhance it with the ingredients found in a traditional bloody mary (sans alcohol, so kids eat up!). For the tomato cream soup, I loosely followed a recipe by Michael Chiarello from foodnetwork.com. This was followed with the traditional elements of a bloody mary: tobasco and worcestershire sauce and lemon juice, as well as fresh ginger (a natural hangover fighting food), and celery salt for an added tangy taste. The result was a creamy tomato soup with a kick!
1 28-ounce can whole, peeled tomatoes
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 stalk celery, diced
1 yellow onion, diced
1 cup chicken broth
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup heavy cream, optional
approx teaspoon minced ginger
celery salt to taste
1 tsp each of tabasco and worcestershire sauce
little less than 1/4 cup of lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Strain and chop the canned tomatoes (the original recipe called for chopped tomatoes but I had a can of whole tomatoes already in the house and I made the mistake of NOT chopping the tomatoes before placing them in the oven; I had to chop afterwards and now have the burn marks on my arms showing this wasn't the wisest of moves), reserving the juices, and spread onto a baking sheet, season with salt and pepper, drizzle 1/4 cup of the olive oil, and roast until caramelized, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a saucepan, heat remaining olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the celery,onion, and ginger; cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the roasted chopped canned tomatoes, reserved tomato juices, chicken broth, bay leaf and butter. Simmer until vegetables are very tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer to large pot, add basil and cream, if using. Puree with a hand held immersion blender until smooth. Once smooth add the lemon juice, tobasco and worcestershire sauce, and celery salt to taste. At this point you can add more fresh ginger as well. Cook together for an additional 10-15 minutes. In the bowl, garnish with celery stalk and basil leaf and serve!
Seriously Soupy Guest Writer Lonnie Feldman