Tomato Ginger Soup

Tomato-Ginger soupTomato_ginger_soup

1 lb tomatoes, any kind, this recipe is for the time of year when tomatoes are everywhere!
1 knob of fresh ginger
1 small onion
2 cloves garlic
1 carrot
1 stalk of celery
1 chili pepper, not killer hot, you want gentle heat, not a hellish blast
3/4 liter of water
salt and pepper to taste

This is a simple, versatile base recipe.  It can be a soup, a sauce, it can be dabbed on a plate for a dramatic presentation.  I served it with oxtail tortellini and a scoop of very fresh pepperoncino ricotta.

You have a few choices here:
A)    If you want a very, very smooth consistency and have either a tammi (a sort of mesh strainer) or cheesecloth, then don’t bother peeling the tomatoes, just give them a coarse chop
B)    If you don’t want to mess with straining, then you must peel the tomatoes first. Plunge into boiling water for a few seconds and then slip off the skins.  If you have kids around, they can have lots of fun peeling the cherry tomatoes.

Coarsely chop all the ingredients.  In a small quantity of olive oil, add the onion, carrot and celery and cook gently until they soften. Add the garlic and chilie, wait a minute, add the ginger. Wait another minute and add the tomatoes, salt and pepper. Let everybody settle down in the pot and come to a nice simmer before adding the water.  Let the soup cook for 1?2 hour to 45 minutes.

Using an immersion blender or regular blender, blend the bejeezus out of the mixture. Give it a very thorough blending.  It should be a thick consistency, like a rich, creamy soup.  It’s an excellent base for all sorts of variations and the little bit of ginger gives it some exoticism, you can even add a dash of good quality cinnamon.  It looks sinful, but don’t tell anyone it could be on a spa menu!

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