Saturday, November 3, 2012

Tomato Puree Soup

It is November all of a sudden. The holiday season is approaching loudly and right on schedule before you are ready to roast the turkey, make the stuffing, wrap the presents all at the same time. I didn't grow up with Thanksgiving. Although in school my American teachers usually organize a potluck in class and there are a few turkey posters around campus. That's all really. We don't even get a day off.

But growing up, I learned to leave my mother alone when she was preparing for Chinese New Year. Every little trouble irritated her like a tic-toking time bomb. While my mother hangs up the red curtains, stuff dumplings and run errands my little brother and I keep quiet on the side guesstimating how much money we will receive this year.

I love winter and it always make me nostalgic. It is full of holidays, gifts, and joy. The gloomy weather also makes everything much more poetic. You can't have a festive Christmas wreath on the door without bare trees and dry leaves in the background. The sadness that come with the surrounding make you appreciate what you have. Too bad LA never gets cold enough for me to feel sad and joyful at the same time.

I make up for the lack of winter with soup. Soup is a staple in winter. All it takes is a bowl of hot soup to make you feel loved from the bottom of your heart.

Tomato Soup
Serves 4

4 large tomatoes
half of an onion sliced
4 garlic cloves minced
1 teaspoon tomato paste
a handful of basil

Boil a pot of water for the tomato. While the water is cooking, remove the stem and cut an X at the back of the tomatoes. Drop the tomato or tomatoes (depending on the size of your pot) into the boiling water for 10 seconds. Take tomatoes out and peel off the skin and cut out any white stem. Over the sink, squeeze the tomato seeds out. Dice the skin-free and seed-free tomato into large chunks.

Take a stock pot and heat it up on medium heat. When the oil is hot, sautee the onion and garlic till fragrant. Add the tomato chunks and tomato paste and use a wooden spoon to incorporate everything together. Pour enough water to cover the foods and throw in some basil. Turn heat on high and let cook for 30 minutes.

Let soup cool in the pot for a while and either pour into a blender or use an immersion blender to puree everything till velvety. On low heat, continue cooking for 1-2 hours until dinner time.

Cut an X

Boil the tomato for 10 seconds then peel off the skin

Cut out the white stem

Squeeze over the sink to remove the seeds
Ta da!

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