Sunday, October 27, 2013

Soup Sunday: Caprese Soup with Sherried Tomato-Basil Base, Crispy Toast Rounds, Pesto, Fresh Buffalo Mozzarella, Shaved Parmesan, + Basil Chiffonade

Soup Sunday: Caprese Soup with Sherried-Tomato Basil Base, Crispy Toast Rounds, Pesto,
Fresh Buffalo Mozzarella, Shaved Parmesan, + Basil Chiffonade
Hi y'all, we just rolled back into town from a short little trip to Birmingham + Tuscaloosa!! So, I'm posting kinda late, SORRY. We ended up taking the weekend to visit my Mountain Man's family and also to attend the Alabama-Tennessee Football Game. Oh how I love it there, it really doesn't get much better than "Title Town", y'all. Here are some pictures from the festivities...

On another short + exciting note... Saturday was exactly one year/365 days until the PLC Wedding, yippee!! WE CAN'T FREAKIN' WAIT :)

Okay, now I have shared plentyyyyyyy of our weekend. Onto Soup Sunday. This Sherried Tomato-Basil soup has been featured many'a'times on my blog. It's a classic. It's delicious. It's comforting. Make it, make it all the time. But then, go a little crazy and do it up Caprese-style. Plop some crispy rounds of toasted bread, a schmear of homemade pesto, thick slices of creamy buffalo mozzarella, + shaved parmesan. Torch the crap outta it or place it under the broiler until the browns and gets melty-gooey. Garnish it with fresh chiffonade basil and a drizzle of balsamic reduction. Y'all, this shit is so good. Like french onion soup, but a million times better. Best Soup Sunday everrrrr!! Enjoy :)

For the Soup:
1 Stick of Unsalted Butter, Melted
1 Medium Sweet Onion, Sliced & Cooked until Caramelized
4 Garlic Cloves, Finely Minced
28oz San Marzano Tomato Puree
28oz Cans of Whole, Peeled San Marzano Tomatoes
3T Tomato Paste
1C Slow Roasted Tomato Puree or Homemade Slow Roasted Heirloom Tomato Jam
1T Homemade Pesto
4C Chicken Stock
3-6T Sugar (depending on how sweet you want it)
Salt & Pepper, To Taste
¼t Dried Oregano & Red Pepper Flakes (or a little less for not as spicy soup)
1C Cooking Sherry
1 ½C Heavy Cream (or Half & Half can be substituted, Soy Milk for a healthier recipe)

For the Caprese Soup:
Crispy Toast Rounds (one baguette, cut into rounds, brush with EVOO, & bake till crisp)
Homemade Basil Pesto, For Spreading the Crispy Toast Rounds
Extra Creamy Buffalo Mozzarella, Cut into Slices
Grated Parmesan, For Topping
Balsamic Reduction, For Drizzling
Basil Chiffonade, For Garnishing
Fresh Cracked Pepper, For Sprinkling

1. For the Soup: Caramelize the sliced onions in the butter and a sprinkle of salt over medium-high heat until golden brown and beautifully caramelized, about 15-20 minutes. Toss in the garlic and sauté for a couple minutes until it is fragrant. Add the whole tomatoes, San Marzano tomato puree, tomato paste, slow roasted tomato puree/slow roasted heirloom tomato jam, homemade pesto, chicken stock, sugar, dried oregano, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine. Bring the pot to a near boil, and then cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Add in the basil and cook on low-medium heat for 10-15 minutes to allow the flavors to meld. Using an immersion blender, blend the soup until smooth and creamy (do this off the heat). Next, add in the sherry and heavy cream (or choice of milk) and stir. Keep warm until you are ready to eat.
2. Preheat your oven to the broiler or about 500 degrees. You want it extra hot to melt and brown the cheese on top.
3. Assembling the Caprese Soup: Ladle the prepared Sherried Tomato Basil Soup into an over-safe soul bowl. Spread two crispy toast rounds with a generous spoonful of homemade pesto and plop into the top of the soup bowl. Lay the creamy mozzarella slices on top and freshly grate some Parmesan over the mozzarella. Place the bowl onto a baking sheet and put it into your preheated oven. Bake for 10-15 minutes (depending on the heat of your oven, but keep an out so it doesn’t burn either). After it has perfectly melted and toasted slightly, remove it from the oven. Drizzle the top of the soup with some balsamic reduction, and then finish garnishing with fresh cracked pepper and a mound of basil chiffonade.
4. Enjoy it while it is still hot & gooey and the bread is still crisp, not soggy!

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