Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Bacon. Tomato. Cream. Enough Said.

It has been a while since I last posted anything but here I am, back from the grave. On my other blog perhaps I will go into detail why I haven't posted anything for a while but here I will stick to recipes.

I am starting a catering company and I made a soup recently that I served to a group of ladies who raved over it. Actually, it was an ideal soup to bring and offer samples because it is a little different but not so different that it would detract people to try the damn thing.

It is winter so here is a winter recipe that is quick, cheap and easy (my favourite kind). Just like Butternut Squash, you can roast the principal ingredient of the soup (in this case, plum or roma tomatoes) to caramelize the sugars. This is extra work of course so you can decide whether you want to bother or not. Me? Glad you asked. Well, of course I would. I'm a chef and strive to intensify the flavours as much as possible. Well, at least I would at work; at home is a completely different story.

Puree of Tomato and Bacon
8 Fresh Plum Tomatoes, quatered
3 Strips of Bacon, diced
1 White Onion, medium dice
1 Clove of Garlic, crushed
2 Sprigs of Fresh Basil
100ml of White Wine
750ml of Chicken or Vegetable Stock
200 ml of Whipping Cream
Salt and Pepper to taste

Preheat oven on roast at 400. On a baking sheet, lay out tomatoes skin down. Drizzle some oil over top and sprinkle a pinch of salt and pepper. Roast in oven for 5-7 minutes or until golden crusted.

In a medium sauce pan on medium heat, cook bacon with touch of butter. Once fat is rendered (about 2 minutes) add onion and garlic. Cook until onion is translucent.

Add wine and reduce by half. Add tomatoes and stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes. Add basil and cream.

Using a blender, puree the stock until desired consistency (how rustic are you?) then bring back to temp.

Season carefully to taste.

Remember: there is salt in the bacon, so taste the soup as you go.

Variation: Omit the cream, chop the tomatoes finer and leave as a broth. Then add some cooked pasta, then you have a version of Minestrone. A tasty version though. Unless you don't like bacon (ha!).

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