Not that kind of wiener! A winner! Sheesh, dirty birdies.
I made soup tonight. Not a very interesting statement but I made tomato soup, which I have tried unsuccessfully in the past to make from scratch. Tonight I had a blueprint, a road map if you will. I believe they call them recipes. That's right I had a recipe! But did I follow it? Um, kinda! But not totally. It was worth it, it was unfreakingbelievably good. And now I'm going to share so all four of my readers (Hi Mom!) can have it too!
Easy Tomato, Barley and Basil Soup (modified by yours truly)
Makes 7 cups.
1 T extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
1 can (28 ounces) whole tomatoes, preferably imported Italian
1 quart low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1/4 cup hulled barley
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh basil leaves
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
grated Parmesan cheese for serving
1. Place olive oil in large saucepan over low heat. Add onion and garlic and cook until lightly browned, 10-15 minutes stirring occasionally.
2. Meanwhile, place the tomatoes in a blender or food processor and puree until partially smooth.
3. Add the tomatoes, broth and barley to the pan with the onion. Cover and let simmer until the barley is just cooked, about 30 minutes.
4. Add the basil and pepper to the soup and season with salt to taste.
5. Serve each bowl of soup with 1/2 teaspoon Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.
• So that's the recipe as written, of course I didn't follow it to the letter because I don't roll like that.
First off I doubled it and secondly I decided it was stupid to puree the whole tomatoes and dirty another dish that I would have to hand wash since my dishwasher is still broken so I bought a can of tomato puree (go figure) and a can of crushed tomatoes, same difference... mostly.
I forgot to get chicken stock or broth at the store so I used some bouillon granules in 6 cups of water (which is two cups shy of 2 quarts needed for the doubling— wait for it.)
Added that and the barley which I added a scant more than called for in the doubling because it's yummy, and let it all boil, boil, toil and trouble until the barley was mostly done.
I turned off the heat and added not quite two cups of half and half, see! I told you to wait for it.
Paco added the pepper to taste (I don't like pepper so to my taste is to not add it at all) and I chopped up some fresh basil that I spent Scooter's college fund on to buy. I'm not usually a fan of the basil, or so I've always said, but I think it's the smell of it that annoys me because the taste of it in the soup is heavenly (I by that I don't mean I cooked the hell out of it.)
We then grated some fresh Parmesan on top and voila! It was scrumptious and I hope you give it a try!
Note: The kids, who are not fans of tomato soup, still didn't really like it but they enjoyed the grilled cheese sandwiches I made them to accompany it and really enjoyed the chocolate covered strawberries we had for dessert, and yes, they are totally on our diet! (the strawsberries, not the grilled cheese)