Monday, October 11, 2010

Simple Supper :: Tomato Garlic Soup

My favorite restaurant growing up was the Restaurant On The Corner, known to locals as ROTC). I LOVED their tomato soup and salad with sprouts. That is probably why a good bowl of soup and a crisp salad is hands down, still my favorite meal. So for Christmas 1999, my mom gave me my favorite cookbook, Moosewood's Daily Specials with the following inspirational inscription inside:

Brook, May you always find joy and caring in the meals you cook and share.
It is a blessing to honor those you love with a fine meal. Love, Mom

Everyday in Ithaca, New York, the restaurant offers a daily special of a soup and salad. While Ryan and I were living in Connecticut we were seriously considering driving to Ithaca just for the lunch special. Then we saw that it would be a very long drive. Too long for a day trip and we never made it there for a vacation. So now that we are on the west coast, I cook out of the cookbook very often to get a feel of the restaurant. Delicious recipes and literally, every recipe I have tried is spot on perfection. 

Today we made their tomato soup for the first time. Why, oh why did it take me 11 years to make this recipe? They have been perfecting it for over thirty five years! And again, it is perfect.

Classic Tomato Garlic Soup
adapted from Moosewood's Daily Special Cookbook

1 Tsp evoo
4 cloves garlic until slightly browned
1 Tsp paprika

**chef's tip** measure your spice caps so you know how much they hold and can skip the measuring spoons. mine held a little under a tablespoon so I will just fill the lid next time.

2 cans of tomatoes in tomato juice (I used TJ's organic diced)
1 cup water or vegetable broth
1/4 cup applesauce (the recipe calls for sherry but we are out)

cook for 10-15 minutes and then blend until smooth with an immersion blender

For herbed croutons:
preheat oven to 350 degrees
dice four slices of bread
toast in oven for 15 minutes
 combine in a small saucepan
1 Tsp evoo
1 Tsp butter
pinch of thyme
pinch of marjoram
toss croutons in butter mix and let cool
serve soup with croutons and parmesan cheese on top

Sopa de Tortilla: omit paprika and sherry, use cumin, coriander, onion, bell pepper and tortillas
Tuscan: Add pesto and garbanzos and top with feta