Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Summer Tomato-and-Carrot Soup

This tomato-based soup will help you think beyond gazpacho for summer soup. Even hot soups can be lovely, as long as they're based on fresh produce, instead of heavy ingredients like you'd find in a winter stew.

  • 2 and 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrot
  • 6 cups chopped, seeded, and peeled tomato*
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 and 3/4 cups vegetable broth
  • 6 tablespoons plain non-dairy yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh tarragon
1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onion and carrot and saute for 5 minutes.

2. Add the tomato; cook for 10 minutes.  Stir in the black pepper and vegetable broth and cook for an additional 10 minutes.

3. Transfer half of the tomato mixture to a blender and process until smooth.  Transfer to a large bowl and repeat with the remaining tomato mixture.

4. Ladle 1 cup of soup into each of 6 bowls, and top each serving with 1 tablespoon yogurt and 1/2 teaspoon tarragon.

*The biggest effort in making this soup was the preparation of the tomatoes ahead of time. To peel, slit an X on the bottom of each tomato with a knife. Cook in boiling water for 1 minute, just until the skins loosen. Transfer immediately to a bowl of ice water, then slip off the peels. Be sure to seed thoroughly before chopping (to seed, cut tomatoes into quarters, and scoop the seeds from each quarter with your thumbs), to avoid an overly-watery soup.

Nutrition Info:
6 servings (1 cup soup, 1 tablespoon yogurt, 1/2 teaspoon tarragon), Calories 84

Tasting Notes:
The soup itself is full of fresh tomato and carrot flavor, although a little bland. That tiny sprinkle of licorice-laced tarragon on top, though, makes all the flavors here pop wonderfully, and the little swirl of yogurt makes it feel elegant, like something you'd be served for a first course at a farm-to-table restaurant. I worried the tomato would dominate, but the carrot actually comes through quite nicely, even from only 1/2 a cup. 


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