Sexy Smoked Cream of Tomato Soup
Everyone loves tomato soup. But homemade tomato soup from fresh ripe tomatoes is sooooo much better than the canned. And when you smoke the tomatoes, add some milk or cream, you enter a whole new dimension.
This recipe takes some time but it is not hard and it is well worth the effort. You can serve it hot in winter or cold in summer, and it can be a meal all by itself. If you wish, serve a cup with Grilled Cheese Sandwich from the grill, garlic bread, or corn bread.
Makes. About 5 cups
Preparation time. The marinara base takes about 90 minutes, and making the soup takes another 30 minutes
6 cups of Fired Up Marvelous Marinara Sauce (a double batch)
1 1/2 cups milk
Salt and pepper to taste
Optional. Sometimes I like to add one smoked red bell pepper before blending. You can use chicken or vegetable stock instead of some of the milk. If you wish stir in some hot pepper sauce.
Garnishes. Sometimes I like to garnish my tomato soup with a dollop of sour cream or mascarpone cheese in the center, some thinly sliced (julienned) fresh basil leaves, croutons or tortilla chips, bacon bits, minced jalapeño, or leftover grilled corn. A favorite is skinned, seeded, diced raw cucumber. I once had tomato soup in a restaurant with toasted salted pumpkin seeds. Spectacular.
1) Start with a double batch of my Fired Up Marvelous Marinara Sauce. For this recipe, I like to smoke the tomatoes, celery, onions, carrots, and garlic for 30 minutes at about 225°F. Do not oversmoke!
2) When the sauce has cooled to room temp, run it through the food processor for about a minute, pureeing it into a thick slush, or use a stick blender to slushify it. Then pour it into a strainer and press it through the mesh with a ladle or big spoon. Keep pressing until you've gotten as much of the precious liquid possible. Scrape the outside of the strainer.
3) You will have about half the volume you started with, but it will be very thick, concentrated, and a bit grainy, so cut it with the milk, 2 parts tomato mix to 1 part milk. You can use cream, but the extra richness isn't necessary. I use 2% or whole milk and it is still fabulous. Stir. Taste and adjust salt and pepper, and add a squirt of hot sauce if you wish.
4) You can serve it hot or cold. To serve it hot, warm it in a pan, divide, and then garnish. To serve cold, chill in the fridge for at least an hour and then divide and garnish.