We've had a very interesting winter here in New York. Not even two weeks ago, we were hit with a huge storm that left the city covered in snow. Now, it's sunny and about 55! I'm not complaining, mind you. So even though it's not quite summer yet and tomatoes won't be in season for a few months, I couldn't resist the big beautiful tomatoes at Costco last time I went and bought 5lbs of them. Sometimes I wonder what motivates some of my purchases but I know that they are usually driven by some kind of deal. $8 for 5lbs of tomatoes? That was one bargain I couldn't pass up. However, J and I live alone. 5lbs of tomatoes is a lot for only two people. I thought of making pasta sauce, but we've had a lot of pasta in these past few cold months and shorts and tank top weather is quickly approaching. So I made some delicious tomato soup instead. What really sets this tomato soup apart from other ones is the lemon and rosemary cream. It gives it a hint of sophistication and grown-upness. This isn't the Campbell's you had as a kid. Plus, the cream really doesn't add too much fat, because you really only need a small dollop. This recipe also uses a little bit of dried red chili flakes which gives it just the slightest hint of spiciness. I recommend making the cream first, even a few hours ahead of time so that the lemon and rosemary have a chance to infuse into the cream.
Fresh Tomato Soup with Lemon and Rosemary Cream
adapted from epicurious.com
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
zest from 1 lemon
1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
1 onion, diced
3 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1 bay leaf
2.5 lbs of tomatoes (or 56 oz canned tomatoes)
6 cups low salt chicken broth
1. combine minced rosemary, cream and lemon zest in a small, sealable container. Whip with a fork for about 1 minute, until whipping cream just begins to thicken and froth. Cover and chill.
2. Melt butter in a heavy, large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, rosemary and crushed red pepper. Cook about 5 minutes, until onion is tender.
3. Add tomatoes, bay leaf and broth. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for about 40 minutes.
4. Discard bay leaf. Puree with immersion blender or transfer in batches to a blender. Can be made ahead and reheated. Serve with a drizzle of lemon rosemary cream.