If you're anything like me, you were a little too gluttonous these past few days… and will continue to be until January 1, 2011. I was probably worse than most, I had to hop around to a few Thanksgiving dinners (even one that required a ferry ride over to the Olympic Peninsula) and thus had to leave before the turkey was carved. This doesn't mean that I didn't eat though, it means I gorged myself on pie and pre-dinner appetizers. And wine, we must not forget about the wine. Trust me, I was pretty sluggish when I woke up this morning. Two words: Sugar CRASH. But I tried to be good today and I was… until I went out for Ethiopian food with my friend Erin who was visiting from NorCal. Side note: if you EVER get the chance, PLEASE go to "Chef Cafe" in the Central District on 22nd and Jackson. It will be the best $3 (yes that cheap!) you ever spent! Well, that's enough about my eating habits…
Now to our regularly scheduled programming: Back to Being Healthy. And you're in luck - this soup is incredibly healthy! I found the recipe a weeks back in the New York Times Dining & Wine section filed under the "Recipes for Health." It has my healthy & fresh stamp of approval! The brown rice thickens it up while still keeping the glycemic index low. However, this soups strength lies not only how it fills your home with the scents of Provencal France, but how filling and warming it is. Which I must say is pretty ideal for any Seattle winter day! And for all you people out there suffering though the beginnings of winter- if good fresh tomatoes aren't available, use a 28 oz can of chopped tomatoes.
Provençal Tomato and Basil Soup
Adapted from: New York Times
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- Salt to taste
- 2 pounds tomatoes, cored and diced
- Pinch of sugar
- 2 large sprigs basil, or about 16 leaves, plus 2 tablespoons slivered basil for garnish
- 1 quart water
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1 Parmesan rind
- 1/4 cup brown rice
- Optional garnishes:
- Grated or shaved Parmesan
- Heat the oil over medium heat in a large, heavy soup pot or Dutch oven. Add the onion. Cook, stirring often, until tender, about five minutes. Stir in half the garlic and a generous pinch of salt. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds to a minute. Add the tomatoes, sugar, basil sprigs or leaves, and remaining garlic. Cook, stirring often, until the tomatoes have cooked down and smell fragrant, 15 to 20 minutes.
- Add the water and salt to taste. Bring to a simmer, cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer 15 minutes. Add the rice, and simmer for another 45 minutes until the tapioca is tender and the soup fragrant. Remove the basil sprigs and Parmesan rind. Puree with an immersion blender until desired consistency is achieved. Add pepper to taste and adjust salt. Serve garnished with Parmesan and slivered basil leaves.