Smoked Tomato Soup
To create this satisfying soup, plum tomatoes are smoked on a stovetop smoker, a simple process that infuses them with deep, rich flavor. Pair the soup with our Cheddar Cheese Panini (see recipe below) for a comforting lunch or supper. Ingredients:
- 2 tsp. apple smoking chips
- 1 lb. plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise
- 6 Tbs. olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 6 slices country-style bread, each
1 inch thick and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1/2 tsp. sweet paprika
- 1/3 cup sherry
- 1/3 cup fresh orange juice
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 2 cans (each 14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes with juices
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1/4 cup sour cream
In a bowl, stir together the tomatoes, 1 Tbs. of the olive oil, salt and pepper. Place the tomatoes, cut sides up, on the smoker rack. Cover and smoke for 15 minutes. Transfer the tomatoes to a bowl and let cool, then remove and discard the skins.
Preheat an oven to 350°F.
In a bowl, stir together the bread cubes, 3 Tbs. of the oil, salt and pepper. Spread the bread cubes out on a baking sheet and bake until golden, about 10 minutes. Set the croutons aside.
In a soup pot over medium heat, warm the remaining 2 Tbs. oil. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the paprika and cook for 2 minutes. Increase the heat to medium-high, add the sherry and orange juice, and cook until reduced to 3 Tbs., about 10 minutes. Add the smoked tomatoes, the stock, canned tomatoes with juices and cayenne. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.
Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth. Pass the soup through a chinois into a clean pot, pressing firmly on the solids. Set the pot over low heat, add the croutons and let stand for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Using the immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper.
Ladle the soup into warmed bowls, and garnish with the parsley and sour cream. Serve immediately. Serves 6.
Cheddar Cheese Panini
Proof that simple can be sublime, these grilled cheese sandwiches are a snap to prepare using an electric panini maker. Theyre the perfect accompaniment to our Smoked Tomato Soup (see related recipe at right). Ingredients:
- 4 slices country-style bread, each 1/2 inch thick
- Melted unsalted butter for brushing
- 4 slices sharp cheddar cheese
Brush one side of each bread slice with melted butter. Lay the slices, buttered side down, on a clean work surface. Place 2 slices of cheese on each of 2 bread slices. Top each with one of the other bread slices, buttered side up.
Place the sandwiches on the preheated panini maker and cook according to the manufacturers instructions until the bread is golden and the cheese is melted, 3 to 5 minutes.
Transfer the sandwiches to a cutting board and cut in half. Serve immediately. Serves 2.