Sunday, April 15, 2007

Roasted Tomato Soup with Avocado and Parmesan

1 tablespoon butter
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 small carrot, peeled and finely diced
2 tablespoons flour
2 pound *fresh tomatoes, or 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, juices reserved
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups reduced-sodium canned chicken broth
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon fresh basil or 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
2 teaspoons fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 bay leaf
1 cup cream or milk
Salt and pepper

Avocado and Parmesan Cheese for Garnish

In a large noncreative saucepan, melt butter over medium heat with olive oil. Add onion and carrot and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes without allowing to color. Add tomatoes with their juices, garlic, broth, tomato paste, basil, thyme and bay leaf. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer stirring frequently, 15 minutes. Remove and discard bay leaf. In a food processor or blender, puree soup in batches until smooth. Return to pan and stir in cream. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Simmer until heated through, 3 to 5 minutes, garnish with avocado and cheese and serve.

* If using fresh tomatoes: Cut tomatoes in half (quarters for large tomatoes), place them in a bowl and toss with 2 T .Olive oil, salt, pepper, and 1/2 t. rosemary to coat. Place tomatoes on baking sheet and place under broiler for about 10 minutes or until they start to break down. Let tomatoes cool, place in a blender and puree, drain tomatoes through sieve. Use in soup.

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