Since having dental surgery last week, my diet has consisted of frozen yogurt and soup. But one can only eat ice cream and Ramen noodles for so long. So, after a few days of recovering, I decided it was time to get back in the kitchen and make soup that I would actually enjoy. This gourmet tomato soup with lemon arugula pesto sure did the trick. I’d never made arugula pesto before, and I’ve got to say, I might even prefer it to basil pesto!
5 large, ripe tomatoes, cored
1/4 cup olive oil
2 shallots, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 (12 oz.) cans crushed tomatoes
1 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. sugar
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup good-quality vodka
Dash of cayenne
Salt and pepper, to taste
Arugula pesto recipe:
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
8 oz. baby arugula
2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
3/4-1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Set the cored tomatoes on a foil-lined, rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 tbsp. olive oil and roast until wrinkly and skin starts to peel, about 30 minutes. While the tomatoes cool, heat the remaining 2 tbsp. olive oil in a small skillet. Add shallots and garlic and saute over medium heat until golden brown and caramelized, 10-15 minutes. Set aside.
When the tomatoes are cool enough to handle, peel off the skins. Roughly dice the tomatoes.
In a large pot, add the roasted tomatoes, shallots, garlic, crushed tomatoes (with juice), 1 tsp. salt and sugar. Using an immersion blender, mix soup until smooth. Stir in cream and vodka. Season with a dash or two of cayenne and salt and pepper.
Serve soup hot, and top with arugula pesto. Mix pesto with soup, if desired.
Recipe adapted from Epicurious.