Dawn Viola is a research and development chef and food writer. She serves on the board of directors for Slow Food Orlando, and works with local and national companies as a healthy recipe consultant with a focus on organic, local and sus...
Pureed soups, like the recipes below, use the vegetables themselves as the main thickening agent, allowing the flavor of the vegetables to shine through while keeping the fat content low.
Soup is good for us in so many ways. It warms the soul when winter's chill hits us hard, offers easy nutrition in a one-pot meal, and it can also be good for our wallets, graciously accepting our leftovers, odds and ends, turning them into a satisfying second act meal.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a large bowl combine tomatoes, oil, garlic, bay, onion, salt and pepper; transfer to a baking sheet. Place baking sheet in the oven; bake 45 minutes or until tomatoes are roasted and slightly charred.
Transfer tomatoes to a medium saucepan. Add reserved tomato liquid, and bring to boiling. Reduce heat, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove bay leaf; using a hand blender, puree tomatoes until smooth. Remove from heat, stir in cream, and serve warm.
Carrot-ginger soup recipe
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 cups diced carrots (approximately 6 regular carrots or 4 extra large)
1 rib celery, diced
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 tablespoons light or dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger root
Zest of one large orange
3 cups chicken or vegetable stock, plus more for thinning the soup
Salt and pepper to taste
Half and half or heavy cream for thinning the soup (optional)
Add butter and oil to a Dutch oven or stock pot over medium heat. Add the carrots, onion and celery and cook until the onions are translucent. Adjust heat to prevent the onions from browning. Sprinkle the brown sugar over the vegetables. Add the grated ginger and orange zest, and stir to incorporate.
Add the chicken stock, stir, and then cover. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cook until the carrots are just tender, about 15 - 20 minutes. Taste the broth and add salt and pepper to taste.
Puree the soup in a blender or by using an immersion blender. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add additional chicken stock or cream for the desired consistency.