Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Roasted Tomato Soup with Saffron Cream and Basil

* Healthy * Low Carb * Make Ahead * Weeknight Winner *

I have been working on this recipe for quite a while – it is a combination of about 4 different tomato soup recipes with my own twist. The final product is a soup so luxurious and rich you completely forget about the requisite grilled cheese sandwich that goes alongside it. But we have you covered there, too! Grilled cheese croutons are a perfect topping if you so choose!

Roasted Tomato Soup with Saffron Cream and Basil
Serves 2-4 (recipe can easily be doubled)

3 tbsp olive oil
2 lb tomatoes (preferably Campari or Roma)
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 cups chicken stock
½ tbsp sea salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
¾ cup fresh basil leaves
1/8 tsp saffron threads
½ cup heavy cream

Preheat the oven to 325˚.

Cut the tomatoes in half and toss with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Place cut side down on a baking sheet and sprinkle with a few pinches of salt. Roast for 2 hours.

In a Dutch oven (or large pot) heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté another minute. Add the chicken stock, tomatoes with their juices, salt and pepper. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 15 minutes. Add the basil leaves and stir to combine.

Meanwhile, heat the cream over low heat until warm. Add the saffron threads and stir constantly, until they have dissolved and the cream has thickened and taken on a warm yellow color.

Place the tomato mixture plus half the saffron-cream mixture into a blender and blend until smooth. (I always strain the soup at this stage but it’s not absolutely necessary.) At this point you can refrigerate for a day or two – just reheat gently before serving.

Ladle into soup bowls and top with additional saffron cream and basil.

Editor’s Note: To make grilled-cheese croutons, simply make grilled cheese with grated gruyere on thin sandwich bread, remove crusts, and cut into small cubes.

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