Tomato Soup

Homemade tomato soup is a treat all year round. The soup is easy to make and versatile. You can serve it as a first course, with a sandwich, or eat it alone. Any way you choose you will not be disappointed. It is delicious and satisfying.

In this recipe I use chicken stock instead of water to enhance the flavor. Personally I prefer to use chicken stock, but you can easily make this a vegetarian soup by using vegetable stock. If you choose to use vegetable stock, use a good quality stock that you have tried and like.

Let’s get started. . .

Ingredients:

3 – lbs. fresh Roma tomatoes
1 – tbls. olive oil
2 – carrots
1 – medium onion
3 – cloves garlic
4 – large basil leaves
2 – tbls. tomato paste
2 – cups organic chicken stock
1 1/2 – tsp. sugar
1 – tsp. salt
1 – tsp. ground black pepper
1/3 – cup heavy cream

Directions:
Dice carrots and onion, and mince the garlic. Heat olive oil in medium sized pot and add diced vegetables and garlic. Sprinkle with a little salt. Sauté about 5 minutes until they begin to soften. In the meantime, dice the tomatoes, then add them to the pot.

Roll the basil leaves as one and slice into ribbons.

Add the basil to the pot and mix well.

Continue to cook about 2 minutes. Once the tomatoes start to make water, clear a spot in the pot and add the tomato paste.

Stir tomato paste and cook about one minute. Be careful not to let it burn. Add chicken broth (if you want to make this vegetarian, add vegetable stock instead).

Add sugar, salt and pepper and stir well. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for 30 minutes.

Taste the soup to see if it needs any additional salt or pepper. Slowly add the heavy cream, stir and cook about one minute to warm the cream.

The soup will have some texture with pieces of tomato and vegetables, which is the way we prefer it; however, if you prefer it smooth, you can purée it in a blender.

Serve immediately.

Makes 6 servings.




Pico de Gallo with fresh made Tortilla Chips

Pico de Gallo, tomatoes, onion, cilantro

Pico de Gallo is a delicious, healthy, versatile condiment to use any time of the year.  It is especially delicious in the summer months when tomatoes are in season.  The freshness of the tomatoes, cilantro, onion, and lime go great with tortilla chips, on tacos, on top of nachos, or with your favorite grilled meats.

You can use store bought pico de gallo, but this is so simple to make you won’t want to use store bought again. Not only is it great to serve at a party or barbecue, but because it is so easy to make you will want to keep it on hand to serve at home any time.

Here it goes…

Ingredients:

2 – cups dices ripe tomatoes
1/2 – cup diced onion
1/2 – cup cilantro
1 – jalapeño or Serrano pepper (optional)
1 – lime
1/2 – tsp. salt

Directions:

Dice the tomatoes, using a knife instead of a food processor so that the tomatoes are in small pieces and not crushed into a liquid sauce by the blades of the food processor. This will make a nice chunky salsa.

Chop finely the onion, jalapeño, and cilantro (we like a little heat, but if you do not you don’t have to use the jalapeño). Place all ingredients in a bowl and squeeze the juice of one lime over the tomato mixture and sprinkle the salt.

Mix well and set aside for about 30 minutes to let the flavors develop. 

Refrigerate it if you are not going to use it the same day; however, remove it about one hour before you want to use it to allow it to return to room temperature.  I always serve the pico de gallo at room temperature because it tastes best that way.  

Serve with fresh made tortilla chips . . .

It is very easy to do and the result is well appreciated.

Cut the corn tortilla in half and then in half again, making four triangle shaped pieces.  Heat a little canola or vegetable oil in a large skillet.  Place the triangles pieces in a single layer in the skillet and cook until golden brown, then flip and cook the other side. It only takes a couple minutes, so do not walk away from the stove.

Remove to a paper towel and sprinkle with a little salt.  Continue cooking the rest of the tortillas.

Serve immediately.

Enjoy!