20 October 2009

Soup Season Begins

It's soup season, folks, and if you're the type that loves pulling out the scarves and those winter boots, I imagine you're excited about a warm bowl of soup, too.

I happen to work with a fun little business that's known for soup. Here is a reprint of its famous Tomato Orange Soup. The recipe has been printed before in several venues over the years, including The Oregonian (which is where I'm pulling the recipe from), and it'll even pop up as a commonly searched item in Google. It's that popular. Think cream of tomato soup with orange flavor. May sound strange, but the combination of rich cream and acidic juice is excellent, so don't skimp with low-fat milk or less butter, it just won't taste the same.

This recipe is delicious, but, of course, it's not quite as good as the one you'll get if you visit Elephants, but it's still worthy of a weeknight dinner. You very likely have the ingredients at home right now.

Serve it with rolls, dress it up with croutons, make it a first course or make it the entree. It's just enough of a twist on your basic tomato soup to make it memorable and a favorite for guests.

Elephants Delicatessen's Tomato-Orange Soup

Makes 4 servings

1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)

1/2 medium onion, diced

2 14 1/2-ounce cans unsalted diced tomatoes with juice (see note)

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1 cup fresh orange juice

1/2 cup whipping cream

In a saucepan, melt butter; add onion and saute until translucent. Add tomatoes, salt, pepper, baking soda and thyme. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered about 15 minutes or until slightly thickened.

Puree in a food processor or blender; strain through a sieve or food mill.

Return to saucepan and stir in orange juice and cream. Bring to a simmer and adjust seasonings if necessary. Serve hot.

Note: S&W makes unsalted diced tomatoes. If not available, substitute regular canned diced tomatoes and omit or reduce salt, depending on your taste.

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