Sunday, April 21, 2013

Smoked Tomato Soup

             Winter is past and now we all need to prepare for the summer. this hot season in middle east is one of the most difficult time in middle east, since the temperature can reach until 50 degrees Celsius at noon and around 40 degrees at night. just imagine, with the brightest sun in the Arabs plus humidity around 60-80 percent it's like having free Sauna everywhere while normally you'll have top pay around 3-20 BD just for that.

             Well now, let just keep on side this summer "thing". this time i will bring one of the tastiest soup I've ever made since ever in my life. i called this soup as "Smoked Tomato Soup". as an entree, it is very light and tasty, full of flavor and well presented. to had this recipe done, it's not very difficult. by using our everyday ingredients like "Tomato", you can have fresh tomato or even peeled tomato as your "Main" ingredients, any kind of tomato will work for this dish. one thing that you have to keep in your mind before start the cooking process. All dishes you made, do not follow the recipe but instead of just use your very own feeling.

              To start this recipe we need to prepare some basic ingredients in cooking which is "Onion and Garlic" . in Asia people intend to use shallot than onion. there is not so much different between these two ingredients, since both has the same function to complete the missing flavor to your food. alright lets go back to the recipe, first lets chop the onion and garlic roughly, don't worry if it is going to be too big  in size because at the end we will blend all of the mixture, just chop it off how you like it and keep this on the side. Next, what we need to prepare is the main ingredients itself, which is tomato. what we need to do with this beautiful and tasty ingredients is, cut it into half and sprinkle in some caster sugar on top the meat side from each cut tomatoes.

            Now the question is how to make the smoked flavor comes to our tomato soup? and the answer is very easy. that we have to put smoke inside the soup. but then we will have another question which is how to put the smoked inside the soup, and how can we make the smoke itself. to do this, what we need is a smoking hot pan by pouring little bit of olive oil in a very hot the pot (the reason we use olive oil in here, because olive oil has a very low boiling point if we compare with any other oil such as corn oil or vegetable oil). when the smoke start to appears in our pot, start to put your halved tomatoes in and let it burn and caramelized nicely, don't worry to make your soup taste bitter because it is burned, as you know tomato itself contains a lot of sugar and this sugar content will turn into caramel and give the smoky and sweet taste in our soup later.


          Next what we need to do after the tomato caramelized well and all the juices comes out, lets just put the half of the ingredients that we prepare before which is onion and garlic. stir well, and let the onion and garlic cooked for about 5-10 minutes or until sweetened enough then add some fresh stock (vegetable is preferable, but chicken stock is allowed). let this mixture boil for about 30 minutes to reduce the consistency and to let it taste better at the end. after this we need to prepare another deep pot then put some cubed butter and melt it (unsalted butter is better in this case). after this process add some spice that you like and whatever you have at home is better, this time i'm using cumin, turmeric, ginger and cinnamon because for me, this all spice will work together with tomato. lets cook the spice together with the sweetened onion and garlic. we need to cooked this spice well, because uncooked spice will make your soup taste"disgusting" and become an unpleasant flavor. so after the spice cooked well and nice flavor comes out, pour over the reduced and boiled tomato inside the pot.

         Cook again for another 30 minutes to reduced the consistency (adding little bit of water is necessary), the reason why i'm cooking tomato in such a long time, because i want to let the tomato taste even better. their natural sugar contains will release it's caramelized flavor and will make the taste amazing. 30 minutes pass, then what we need to do is to blend it using your home blender then after strain the soup with fine strainer. Voillaa, the soup is ready now, garnish with ricotta cheese and black olive. now, we'll make our family love it and even ask for more. (Allan Octesa, 2013)