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Tomato and Roasted Garlic Soup
If you're entertaining, nothing is more convenient or forgiving to serve than a pot of homemade soup. Most all potages can be cooked ahead and reheated quickly, so you can say good-bye to last-minute hassle. If you're having a crowd over and want a recipe that can be doubled without any fuss, there's no problem when you're offering a chowder, a bisque or a brodo. Need a starter to open a dinner or a main course to anchor a lunch or supper? Soup, especially one like the tempting Tomato and Roasted Garlic Soup that follows, is the answer.
For this hearty dish, whole heads of unpeeled garlic are drizzled with olive oil and roasted until tender and soft. Then the heads are halved and the sweet, yielding garlic scooped out and added to a simmering mixture of tomatoes, leeks and herbs.
When pureed this potage is thick and hearty with only a subtle hint of garlic flavor. As a garnish, either a scoop of gorgonzola or some shaved Asiago or Parmigiano makes a fine finishing touch. This recipe yields four generous servings to offer as a light entree or six smaller ones to use as an opener.
Tomato and Roasted Garlic Soup Recipe
Serves 4 with generous portions or 6 with smaller 1-cup servings.
3 medium heads garlic
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 1/2 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts only
2 teaspoons crushed dried rosemary
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Three 14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes, drained
4 cups chicken stock
A 3- to 4-ounce piece of gorgonzola, Asiago, or Parmesan cheese, preferably at room temperature
Arrange an oven rack at center position and preheat oven to 375 F.
Place heads of garlic in a medium baking dish and drizzle with 3 tablespoons of the oil. Toss to coat well. Roast until the garlic cloves are very tender when pierced with a knife (or when squeezed with your hand protected with a kitchen towel), about 50 minutes. Set aside to cool. Using a serrated knife, halve the heads horizontally and squeeze or scoop out with a small spoon the garlic cloves, which will be soft like butter, into a small bowl. You should get about 1/3 cup garlic. Add the oil from the roasting pan (discarding any paper flakes from garlic) and mash the mixture with a fork.
While the garlic is roasting, heat remaining tablespoon oil in a medium pot set over medium heat. When hot, add leeks, and stir and cook until just softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add rosemary, thyme, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and red pepper flakes. Stir a minute, and then add tomatoes and stock. Bring mixture to a simmer, lower heat, and cook uncovered until leeks and tomatoes are very tender, about 20 minutes.
Stir the mashed garlic mixture into the soup, then puree soup in a food processor or blender or with an emulsion blender. Taste and season with salt and more red pepper flakes if needed. (Soup can be prepared 1 day ahead; cool, cover, and refrigerate. Reheat over medium heat, stirring often.)
Ladle into 4 bowls and garnish each serving with a scoop of gorgonzola or with some shaved Asiago or Parmesan. You will probably have some cheese left over.
Tomato and Roasted Garlic Soup - Betty Rosbottom Recipes
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