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I was with the kids at the library and asked Adam if he'd indulge me in coming out of the children's section while I got myself a "Mommy book". Now, back in the day (aka before kids), a "me book" would've been anything from a cheesy pink book (a book for younger ladies) to a documentary on the fall of societies. Lately, though, my time and brain power for reading has faltered, so the closest I find myself to reading lately is either snippets on the internet or cookbooks. So, my eyes lit up a little bit when I saw a copy of Gwyneth Paltrow's new cookbook, My Father's Daughter, on the shelf. There;'s something about Gwyneth that says "pretty girl who you could be friends with" to me. Of course, I've never met her and she could be a flaming banshee who shrieks for her butler to fetch her some distilled French water for all I know. But I still like my fantasy.
I decided to try her tomato soup, mainly because her white bean soup recipe didn't appeal to Abe and he casually mentioned that the tomato one looked good. This is how dinner is decided a lot in my house. The soup is delicious and very easy to make. It's perfect for summer with all of the ripe tomatoes at the farmers' market. It can also see dining on this in the dead of winter.
The roasted tomatoes part added a lot of nice flavor and texture to the soup, so don't skip it. They can be made ahead and stored in a Tupperware container with a bit of olive oil to keep from drying out. They were so yummy and can be added to things like salad and sandwiches too. They keep in the fridge for about a week, but I doubt they'll last that long.
I served it with green salad and a crusty baguette that I sliced, topped with a bit of olive oil and shredded cheddar cheese and popped into the oven until the cheese was melted. It was quite the delightful meal.
Slow-Roasted Tomato Soup
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 large cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
4 fresh large basil leaves
2 14-ounce cans whole peeled tomatoes with their juice
16 pieces (8 whole) slow-roasted tomatoes (recipe below), roughly chopped
1 large pinch of sugar
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
Heat the olive oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the basil leaves, tomatoes and their juice, and 1 can's worth of water (making sure to swish to get the rest of the tomato juices). Bring to a boil, turn the heat to low and simmer for 40 minutes. Stir in the slow-roasted tomatoes and season to taste with sugar, salt and pepper (about 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper). Tear 1/4 cup basil leaves and stir in. Drizzle a bit of olive oil over top of each portion.
Preheat oven to 275 degrees.
Cut the tomatoes in half horizontally, rub with a tiny bit of olive oil and a pinch of salt and bake seed side up in a 275 degree oven for 3-5 hours, or until they look nearly sun-dried (the edges will be caramelized and the moisture will be almost entirely evaporated).