How can I not love a day when I can spend three hours making tomato sauce? You should seriously smell my apartment right now. I had to fight to keep myself from crawling into the oven all afternoon—it was just that tantalizingly roasty up in there.
Mi casa es su casa.
Aron, Jeff, Joshua, me
Summer squash with lemon herb butter
Tomato soup with peas and pasta
Soupruary's one and only kitchen fire! There was definitely something on the burner that was ready to get some attention, and boy did it. Flames up to 3...inches...high! We managed to put it out with a metal pot lid after Aron shook some towels at it for a few seconds—which was basically risking his life seeing as he was attired in a polyester jumpsuit.
Oh, and then we went to see You, You're Awesome and Bad Veins and danced all night (fueled by soup!), and that was spectacularly fun.
My friend Bettina was the inspiration for this one—she told me about it on Monday night and I kept thinking all week that it's just the kind of comfort-food goodness I need right about now. I wanted something with heft and body that would keep me going all night, and this fit the bill precisely.
My second inspiration was reading Thomas Keller's recipe for this roasted tomato sauce on Friday—I knew immediately that I could not wait more than 24 hours to have it in my oven.
And now I may be ruined. I'm not sure I'll ever want any other tomato sauce. I could've just eaten a bowl of it and forgotten about making soup, but the spirit of Soupruary dictated otherwise.
This isn't a taste that will blow your mind, or be unlike anything you've ever had. It's perfectly normal, but exceptional in its perfection of said normalcy. It tasted just how I wanted it to, and kept me smiling through the whole bowl.
Adapted from Bettina's family recipe and Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc at Home
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
1 cup minced leeks, white and pale green parts
1 cup fennel, chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 28-32 ounce cans of whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes
1 bay leaf
bunch of fresh thyme
kosher salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 cups vegetable broth
4 ounces pasta in the shape you prefer, cooked al dente and then set aside
8 ounces frozen peas
grated Parmigiano reggiano, to serve
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine vegetables in a baking dish and cook 45 minutes or until tender and browning, then remove from oven.
Stir in brown sugar and vinegar and return to oven for 10 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.
Pour one can of tomatoes into a food processor along withthe juice from the second can of tomatoes and process until smooth. Coarsely chop or tear apart the tomatoes from the second can.
Add tomato puree, tomatoes, thyme and bay leaf to the vegetables, stir, and return to oven for 90 minutes.
Discard thyme and bay leaf, and transfer sauce to soup pot. Add vegetable broth and frozen peas, and bring to a simmer. Add pasta and simmer till heated through. Serve with grated Parmigiano reggiano, if desired.