Thursday, September 01, 2005

Creamy Tomato-Balsamic Soup

Photo from Cooking Light

Source: Cooking Light, October 2005

Cooking the vegetables at the high temperature of 500° caramelizes their natural sugars and deepens their flavor; the liquid poured over them ensures they won't burn. Prepare the soup up to two days ahead; reheat over medium heat before serving.

1 cup less-sodium beef broth, divided
1 tablespoon brown sugar
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1 cup coarsely chopped onion
5 garlic cloves
2 (28-ounce) cans whole tomatoes, drainedCooking spray
3/4 cup half-and-half
Cracked black pepper (optional)

Preheat oven to 500°.Combine 1/2 cup of broth, sugar, vinegar, and soy sauce in a small bowl. Place onion, garlic, and tomatoes in a 13 x 9-inch baking pan coated with cooking spray. Pour broth mixture over tomato mixture. Bake at 500° for 50 minutes or until vegetables are lightly browned.

Place tomato mixture in a blender. Add remaining 1/2 cup broth and half-and-half, and process until smooth. Strain mixture through a sieve into a bowl; discard solids. Garnish with cracked black pepper, if desired.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: about 1/2 cup)

NUTRITION PER SERVINGCALORIES 120(35% from fat); FAT 4.7g (sat 3g,mono 1.5g,poly 0.1g); PROTEIN 3.8g; CHOLESTEROL 23mg; CALCIUM 120mg; SODIUM 452mg; FIBER 1.7g; IRON 1.7mg; CARBOHYDRATE 14.9g

Julie Grimes Cooking Light, OCTOBER 2005

My notes: We liked this soup very much - it was so easy to put together and so different than soups I've tried before. It had a nice smoky flavor from roasting and a great kick from the balsamic. To keep things really simple, after roasting, I put everything in a soup pot and used my immersion blender and did not strain the soup. Although I liked it chunky, I might try it strained next time. The only other thing I did differently was to keep the juices from the tomatoes aside and add it back to the soup when everything was done roasting. We did not feel that the tomato juices diluted the flavors too much - good thing because I really hated to throw out all that lovely, thick tomato sauce. This one's a repeater.

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