If you know anything about me - anything at all! - you'll know that I love to cook and bake. The more I can do at home, controlling what I put into my dishes and what my family eats, the happier we all are. When given the opportunity to participate in a culinary challenge with Dominick's, highlighting some of the new international foods they are now carrying, I jumped all over it.
I took a deep breath and crossed my fingers as I read what my two mystery ingredients would be. I got Dell' Alpe extra virgin olive oil and Dell' Alpe imported canned pear tomatoes. To say I was happy that I got ingredients that go together is putting it mildly. But... they almost go too well together. I use tomatoes and olive oil constantly.
I thought and thought and tried to come up with something creative. Something unique. And then I remembered that when we went to Medieval Times, Mister Man enjoyed tomato soup for the first time in his life. Bingo - I need to foster that enjoyment of tomatoes in a healthy and yummy form.
So I decided to make a simple tomato soup that really features the Dell' Alpe tomatoes. And it was awesome. Serve it up with a little bread, and everyone was thrilled.
Tomato Soup featuring Dell' Alpe evoo and Dell' Alpe pear tomatoes
1 white onion
2 T Dell' Alpe extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic
2 T flour
3 cups chicken broth (or vegetable to make it vegan)
1 28 ounce can Dell' Alpe imported canned pear tomatoes
1 T tomato paste
2 T sugar*
salt and pepper to taste
10-15 fresh basil leaves
*Depending on your tomatoes and tomato paste, you may need to adjust this a little to get to the taste you want, usually just a little more sugar.
Preheat a large pot. Chop your onion while it's heating. Once it's fully heated, add the olive oil, then add the onion. Cook over medium heat for 5-7 minutes, until the onions are translucent but not browned.
As the onion is cooking, prepare your garlic. To help keep it from burning, you don't want to cut it up. Instead, smash it with the flat of your knife. Once you smash it hard, you can just pluck the peel off, easy peasy. Add the garlic to the onion once the onion is pretty much done. You just want the garlic to get fragrant. Go ahead and add the flour, stirring to ensure that it is evenly coating the onions and garlic, and let it cook for two minutes.
Add the chicken stock and canned tomatoes to the onion and garlic mixture. Make sure you're using good tomatoes, like the Dell' Alpe imported canned pear tomatoes, because they will be the focus of your soup.
How do you know you have good tomatoes? Seriously, take a look at how gorgeous these tomatoes are!
Add the tomato paste and sugar, as well as 1 t of salt and maybe 1/2 t of pepper. Turn the heat down so that it is just simmering. You don't want this to boil. Cover your pot and cook it for 30-40 minutes at a simmer so that everything starts to break down.
After that 30-40 minutes, puree your soup. If you have an immersion blender, you're set. If not, buy one but use your regular blender in the interim. If blending in a blender, blend in batches and don't fill the container more than one-third full. Use a kitchen towel and hold the top on, as blending hot liquids will create pressure that could force the top off. Keeping it fairly empty and holding the top on helps a ton. Or ... that immersion blender means you can do it all at once and in the same pot so no extra dishes. Puree it completely.
Serve it immediately. Chiffonade the basil and use it as a garnish or add some shredded Parmesan for an extra flavor boost. The wee ones weren't interested in these accouterments, but I'd definitely go for them. This will keep in the fridge for a few days, and it tastes better the second day once all the flavors have had a chance to meld.
Interested in making this Dell' Alpe highlighted soup? Or exploring other international options Dominick's now carries? I have a $50 Dominick's gift card to give away.
This one? Super easy to enter. You must tweet what your favorite international ingredient or dish is, using @Dominicks and @honestandtruly in the tweet along with the hashtag #DominicksIntl. The only caveat is that you can't use the Twitter handles or hashtag as the first word in your tweet (e.g., "@honestandtruly @Dominick's I love..." doesn't work; "Hey @honestandtruly and @Dominicks" does work).
Tweet by Sunday October 7 at 7pm Central, and I'll choose a winner from eligible entries at that time. You do need to be a US resident and 18 years of age or older. Only one tweet per person is eligible. You will need to provide me with your contact information within 24 hours so that you can be sent the gift card if you are chosen by random.org or another winner will be chosen.
In the interest of full disclosure, I received a gift card to purchase ingredients for my dish. I was not provided with any additional compensation. As always, all opinions expressed remain my own.