Ouch. I’m at home recovering from having my wisdom teeth yanked. Don’t ask me why I hadn’t done it sooner.
Afternoon bounty. Evidently, this is what I miss every afternoon while I’m at work. Mr. Bistro took in a record-breaking 7 eggs today. Two of them are from first-timers. We suspect the French Marans and the Turken.
My Knight in Shining Armor. Lucky for me, Mr. RGBistro has offered to take care of me. First on the agenda: a tomato soup; I needed to eat every four hours so the Vicodin stayed down nicely. When the man asked for the recipe, I pointed him to our blog… then I realized I had never posted our winter (canned) tomato soup recipe. How is this possible?!
In my drugged up stupor, I quickly wrote it up for him. Then I tried to stop him when he dumped the soup into the Vitamix blender. “Honey… just use the stick blender so you don’t have a whole blender to clean up!
But it was too late. Mr. RGBistro was whizzing away before I stumbled into the kitchen. I was about to say honeeeeyyyy, you weren’t supposed to do that, when he turned and presented me with the most beautiful tomato puree I think I’d ever seen. Damn, the man knows what he’s doing.
A note on quality ingredients. There was a time when I thought it didn’t make a difference. I mean, a can of tomatoes is a can of tomatoes, right… right? No. And I learned this lesson the old-fashioned way. I cooked with a can of San Marzano tomatoes once and it blew my mind. My like-minded and good friend Sarah agrees – good ingredients DO make a difference. And in this case, a 28 oz. can of San Marzano retails for $3.99. A 28 oz. Contadina can goes for about $2.49. That’s $1.49 difference. There are 6 bowls in this recipe. That’s less than a $0.29 up-charge for stellar tomatoes… have I made my case yet?
Now if this San Marzano tomato puree isn’t happy in a bowl, I don’t know what is.
San Marzano Tomato Puree
In a soup with few ingredients, the key is in the Italian San Marzano tomatoes. You can’t beat the perfect combination of sweet and tangy in a can of stateside tomatoes. This is a basic puree, with a little white wine added for depth. Backyard thyme and basil or chives are added for good measure. Puree in a Vitamix blender and serve immediately. A bowl of silky, velvety goodness.
~ 6 Servings ~
- 1 medium brown onion, chopped
- 1 small carrot, peeled and chopped
- 1 celery stalk, chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, smashed
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- ¼ cup dry white wine
- 1 28-ounce can whole San Marzano tomatoes
- 1 quart chicken stock
- 1 handful chopped chives or basil leaves
~ Preparation ~
Preparation Time: 1 hour
- Minute 1: In a 4-quart heavy pot over medium-low heat, sauté onion, carrot, celery, and a good pinch of kosher salt (approximately ¼ teaspoon) in olive until soft, about 7 minutes.
- Minute 10: Add garlic, thyme and bay leaf and cook for one more minute.
- Minute 11: Add white wine and let cook one additional minute.
- Minute 12: Add can of tomatoes. Squeeze whole tomatoes while dropping them into the pot. Add chicken stock. Bring up to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
- Minute 15: Simmer gently for 40 minutes. Remove bay leaf.
- Minute 55: Pour half of soup into Vitamix and blend on speed 1. Once the motor is running, slowly increase to speed 10; then turn switch to “high” for 5 seconds. Turn motor off and pour soup into a large bowl. Repeat blending exercise with remaining half of tomato soup.
- Minute 60: Ladle soup into bowls, garnish with chives and serve immediately.
Source: Rustic Garden Bistro
Bistro Eats is a collection of recipes we think could work in a bistro setting, i.e. the brick and mortar Rustic Garden Bistro. Click on this category to see a snippet of what the menu may look like.