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My friend Alyssa recommended this recipe to me. I'm so glad she did, it is freaking delicious!
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You know it's going to be good when it starts with butter and bacon grease, right? Of course right. But I'm getting ahead of myself, first we need to roast some garlic. Don't worry, it's not difficult.
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Just separate the cloves from a head of garlic, rub off the papery parts and then chop off the pointy ends of the garlic. You don't even have to peel them! This way, once they're roasted, you can just squeeze the cloves and the garlicy goodness will pop out. If that doesn't sound delicious I don't know what does.
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Just put the cloves in some foil, drizzle with olive oil and gather the foil together so it looks like a hershey kiss. Then let it sit in the oven for an hour at 250 degrees and the garlic will be soft, slightly caramel colored and incredible. Resist the urge to eat them just like this.
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While the garlic is roasting, chop up a celery stalk, a carrot and 1/4 of an onion.
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This is when the butter and bacon grease come in. Throw in your veggies with the butter and bacon grease to "sweat" for 15 minutes. I interpreted "sweat" as just cook on very low heat. 

While you wait, get a bit of sugar, chop up some basil and open a can of crushed tomatoes. Then take a seat and enjoy the amazing smells coming from your kitchen.
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After 15 minutes, add the sugar, chopped basil and 1 more tablespoon of bacon grease. 
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Then pour in the crushed tomatoes. Stir it together and bring it to a boil. Then reduce the heat and let it simmer, covered for 30 minutes. Once the garlic is done, pop as many cloves as you want into the tomato mixture, I added 10 medium sized cloves, but after tasting it, I wish I added more!

After half an hour, stir in a big pinch, more like half a handful, of parmesan cheese (freshly grated please!). Cover and continue to let the tomato mixture simmer for another 30 minutes.

Then, turn off the heat and let it cool for 15 minutes. We're going to blend it next, and you don't want to put very hot things in your glass blender do you? Once cooled, blend it until it is smooth. All the garlic, celery, carrot, onion and basil goodness will permeate through the soup as it blends. Yummm.

Pour the mixture back into the pot and add 1 cup milk and 1 cup cream, or 2 cups cream. Stir it all together until it looks like this.
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Now give it a taste. Does it need salt? Add some! Does it need to be warmed up a bit? Do it! All this work, you want the soup to be perfect, right? 

Next, and this is absolutely crucial, make a grilled cheese sandwich! 
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Creamy Tomato Soup
adapted from Homesick Texan

1 28 0z can crushed tomatoes
1 head of garlic, roasted
2 tablespoons chopped basil
1/4 onion, diced
1 celery rib, diced
1 carrot, diced
2 tablespoons bacon grease (I just happened to have some on hand, if you don't, don't let that stop you from trying this. The soup will still be fabulous without it!)
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon sugar
salt to taste
1 cup milk
1 cup cream (or 2 cups cream and no milk)
3 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese

Divide head of garlic into separate cloves. Rub off the papery shell, but don't peel them. Cut off the pointy parts of the cloves. Put on foil, drizzle with olive oil and gather foil so it looks like a hershey kiss. Roast for 1 hour at 250 degrees.

Heat onions, celery and carrot with butter and 1 tablespoon bacon grease on low heat for 15 minutes.

Stir in sugar, basil, 1 tablespoon bacon grease and tomatoes. Bring to a boil then simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.

When garlic is finished roasting. Squeeze the cloves out of their shell into the soup. Add as many as you like.

Stir in cheese, then continue to let the tomato mixture simmer, covered for 30 more minutes.

Remove from heat and let cool for 15 minutes. Puree tomato mixture until smooth, stir in milk and cream. Add salt to taste and warm until desired temperature for serving. Enjoy with a gooey grilled cheese sandwich.
 


Comments

10/06/2011 22:54

I found this soup life-changing.

The only thing I did differently was use yogurt and goat's milk in place of the cream and milk. (I wanted the creaminess, but not the oh-no-cream-makes-me-sick-ness.) Or maybe I just used yogurt. I don't remember. Either way, it is the best. So glad you liked it, too!

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