Thursday, December 27, 2012
Blizzard! That means we stayed home the day after Christmas. Fortunately, I packed a big briefcase of work and kept plenty busy. Late afternoon it finally quit snowing so Connie and the snowblower tackled the driveway. I kept plugging away at one of my projects. About 6pm I finally got around to thinking about dinner. It was supposed to be one of those evenings that I made something complicated. The plan was to get home from the office at 5:30 and dig in. So much for that plan.
On the way back from our Columbus, OH visit, I read a Saveur listing 101 iconic dishes. It started wtih a Spanish tomato soup called Salmorejo. I love tomato soup. Whether it's plain cream of tomato or chunky tomato basil or gazpacho, I love the stuff. This was a recipe I wanted to try.
I'm not sure what time the blizzard actually started but it was well under way when I got my lazy self out of bed about 7:30 in the morning. To make the Salmorejo I needed a baguette. And, there was leftover corned beef that was begging to be made into corned beef hash. (You'll have to check back for that recipe.) But, I had no potatoes. What I did have was everything to make the pumpkin goat cheese pasta I'd planned for dinner. To battle the elements or not? The grocery is half a mile away.
Tomato soup and corned beef hash won. Thank goodness because both were fabulous. This is probably unlike any tomato soup you've ever had. In some ways it's like gazpacho because of the sherry vinegar and the olive oil. In other ways it's like a pureed panzanella salad because of the bread. Then, you put the chopped hard-cooked eggs and pancetta on top and those take it way over the top!
While I was cooking and working Wee Mac was checking out the activity outside then snoozing my the register in the bookcase:
The end result was that this was dinner. The pasta never got made that evening. Actually, what happened with the pasta is a great story - for another day...
Chilled Spanish Tomato Soup
2 t kosher salt (the recipe called for 3 TABLESPOONS - no way I was putting that much salt in!)
28 oz can diced tomatoes plus the juice (the recipe called for 8 cored, halved and seeded roma tomatoes - which would be great if they weren't selling rock flavored tomatoes at the grocery)
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 small yellow onion, finely minced
1/2 baguette (the recipe called for 10 oz, I winged it and used half of a good-sized baguette,) torn into pieces
2 T sherry vinegar
1 c extra virgin olive oil
3 hard boiiled eggs, chopped
8 oz diced pancetta, browned and drained
As you can see from the ingredient list, I took a number of liberties with the recipe. That's nothing new. I'm not one who believes in making it as is the first time. For one thing, sometimes I have to substitute ingrediens (the pancetta was supposed to be ham or prosciutto) or I think an ingredient might be a big bully (the salt.) At any rate, this is so easy to put together.
You start by putting the salt, tomatoes and juice, garlic, onion and baguette in a heat proof bowl.
Heat a pot of water to boiling. Pour a cup of the boiling water over the mixture. Allow it to stand at room temperature for an hour. Put everything in the bowl of a food processor. Add the vinegar. Puree until it's smooth then gradually pour in the olive oil. Use extra virgin olive oil as it's an important flavor in the soup. Don't wimp out and either use too little (the bread flavor will win) or use regular olive oil (blah.) Chill and serve topped with chopped hard cooked eggs and pancetta and a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
adapted from Saveur