Monday, November 23, 2009

Salad Week: Colleen's Usual

Last night marked our second salad day, sort of. Call me a cheater, but I couldn't resist throwing in this tomato soup (below). The soup was just divine, even without the chives on top (trim out the garnish and save $3.99!) Rosie gobbled this soup by the spoonful and Brandon savored it, all the while chiding me for not sticking to the rules. The blended bread and olive oil create a texture/taste illusion--it's creamy, but it's not!

I kept the salad simple with what I call "Colleen's Usual." I just throw in whatever greens and veggies I have hanging around and then toss in a simple dressing that goes like this:

Olive oil--twice around the bowl
Vinegar--a few shakes of the bottle (about 1 tablespoon, balsamic or red or white wine)
Dried Italian Herbs--a hefty sprinkling
Basil--add torn fresh leaves if you have them otherwise omit
Garlic powder--just a touch (optional)
Juice of 1/4 (or more) lemon--just cut and squeeze with hand
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper

To mix things up, sometimes I'll add black olives or marinated artichoke hearts.

Creamless Creamy Tomato Soup

Serves 6 to 8. Published September 1, 2008. From Cook's Illustrated.

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil , plus more for drizzling
1 medium onion , chopped medium (about 1 cup)
3 medium garlic cloves , minced or pressed through garlic press (about 1 tablespoon)
Pinch hot red pepper flakes (optional)
1 bay leaf
2 (28-ounce) cans whole tomatoes packed in juice
1 tablespoon brown sugar
3 large slices good-quality sandwich bread , crusts removed, torn into 1-inch pieces
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons brandy (optional)
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives


1. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onion, garlic, red pepper flakes (if using), and bay leaf. Cook, stirring frequently, until onion is translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and their juice. Using potato masher, mash until no pieces bigger than 2 inches remain. Stir in sugar and bread; bring soup to boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until bread is completely saturated and starts to break down, about 5 minutes. Remove and discard bay leaf.
2. Transfer half of soup to blender. Add 1 tablespoon oil and process until soup is smooth and creamy, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to large bowl and repeat with remaining soup and oil. Rinse out Dutch oven and return soup to pot. Stir in chicken broth and brandy (if using). Return soup to boil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve soup in individual bowls. Sprinkle each portion with pepper and chives and drizzle with olive oil.

No comments:

Post a Comment