Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Sherried Tomato Soup from "The Pioneer Woman Cooks"

Ree Drummond’s book finally made it to our bookstore! I was so excited I grabbed it and ran to the checkout all the while stuffing my nose in it even as I walked to my car. I stayed up late into the night enjoying every single page. About 2A.M. I had an epiphany. I want to live on a ranch with photogenic cows, and I want to cook every single darn recipe in this book! Seriously. I’ve never had feelings like this before.

I have cookbook lust. I have it so badly that I’m even following all her directions. I don’t think this has ever happened to me. I haven’t been taking pictures of everything since this work is hers, but this soup made me stop and grab a shot.

You have to try this one. It is better than divine. It makes me not care so much about photogenic cows. Or not quite as much. Ree has me doing things I’ve never done before. Like buying cooking sherry and chicken base. I must not be in my right mind because these are two items I’ve sworn never to purchase!

Its lust I tell you. Cookbook, beautiful country food, photogenic cow lust. Plus the book has an all-American wild mustang pageant. I have to admit, Bernadette is awfully pretty, even if Ree is pulling for the super intellectual Ginger.

1 medium white or yellow onion
6 Tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter
Two 14 ounce cans diced tomatoes
46-ounce can of tomato juice
3 to 6 Tablespoons sugar
1 to 2 Tablespoons chicken base, or 3 chicken bouillon cubes
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup cooking sherry
1 ½ cups heavy cream
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
¼ cup chopped fresh basil

Ree’s Instructions and Hilarious Ramblings
1. To begin, dice the onion.

2. Melt the butter in a large pot or Dutch oven.

3. Throw in the onion and cook until translucent.

4. Now dump in the diced tomatoes and stir to combine.

5. Add the tomato juice. I used organic juice because I wanted people to think, she’s cool because she uses organics.

6. Next-and this is important-in order to combat the acidity of the tomatoes, add 3 to 6 tablespoons sugar. Now, you’ll want to start on the low side, then taste and add more as needed. Some tomatoes and juice have more of an acid bite than others. (For what its worth and I realize it’s not worth much, I use 6 tablespoons of sugar. But I like a little sweetness to my tomato soup. So don’t listen to me.)

7. Next, add 1 or 2 tablespoons chicken base to the pot. I added 3, and it wound up being a little too much. But it’s a middle child thing… I’m always adding more, more, more!

8. Now you can add lots of freshly ground black pepper. Stir to combine, then heat almost to a boil. Then turn off the heat.

9. Now! Here’s the nice little flavor that sets this soup apart. Add in the sherry, if desired. It’ll keep you honest-I promise!

10. And now, people. It’s time to get serious. And it’s time to examine yourselves, and I mean that figuratively, for Pete’s sake: when it comes to heavy cream, are you a man or a mouse? I need an answer now, because we’re about to add 1 ½ cups of the stuff into our soup. And mmm… stir it together.

11. Now chop up a handful of flat-leaf parsley. And really, I’m not opposed to that curly parsley. And actually, blind taste tests have shown that there’s really not much difference in taste. But flat-leaf is a little more texturally palatable, so if you can find it, it’s best.

“Texturally palatable.” You know, I just throw these phrases out into the atmosphere and I have no idea where they come from. Or where they are going. Or where they have been.

12. Next, chop up a few leaves of fresh basil. (Well, “chiffonade” is the proper term… but that’s way too complicated a topic to inject into this simple soup.)

13. Now go ahead and throw in the parsley and the basil, and stir together. Next, take a whiff of this heavenly delight. Then faint. Then pick yourself up off the ground and grab your pepper mill again.

14. I always set it to fine for this soup, and I really let ‘er loose. I love freshly ground black pepper.

15. Keep the soup warm and serve it on a cold day to people you love. The flavor will knock your socks off.

Recipe from Ree Drummond's book, "The Pioneer Woman Cooks, Recipes from an Accidental Country Girl". Visit her award winning blog. Picture by the unworthy Laura Flowers who now wants to live on a ranch with photogenic cows someplace where it doesn’t snow.


Memória said...

That photo is awesome! Wow! That soup looks full of flavor.

I am about to leave an award for you, Laura. Thanks for always stopping by my blog.

Cristie said...

Your photo is amazing. I'm loving this book as well, the soup is on my list to make ASAP.

shaz said...

That is one great looking soup! I only discovered The Pioneer Woman yesterday while out surfing, and I spent ages looking at cows - not a subject I would have ordinarily though fascinating!) Love reading about what you thought of the book.

Coleens Recipes said...

I've been craving tomato soup, you must have heard me!!

Patricia Scarpin said...

It's insanely hot in here and yet you've got me craving soup! :D

Ginger said...

Chuckling again!! Great blog post. The photo alone makes me want to try the soup. Sounds like a great cookbook! (I want to live in the mountains and at this moment in time I am not giving my number to my 17 year old son :-)

Donna-FFW said...

Gimme a grilled cheese and Im a happy camper.. Looks fanatastic! I am a huge PW fan as well.

Mary Bergfeld said...

What a great photo. I really enjoyed her ramblings.

Amber said...

Whoa baby! I really like the photo you took of this one.
I love her cookbook too. Have you tried her chocolate sheet cake?! OMG!!! I ate the whole thing by myself. No wonder my pants won't fit me.

Pink Little Cake said...

Hi Laura, I just want to eat this picture right now. The cupcakes from your last post were adorable, did you made the roses? I might need your help when I open my cake studio, but I guess you will be in your own cookbook tour and you won't have time to help me. You are so talented!

Steph said...

That picture is so pretty! I didn't get a chance to check out her cookbook yet, but it seems like everyone is enjoying it!

Sherri Murphy said...

AMazing photo. I heard good things about the book too.

Chef Fresco said...

Oh wow, this does look amazing! And you pic is perfect, as usual :) Thanks for all your sweet comments on our blog!

Maria said...

Love this soup!

marla (Family Fresh Cooking) said...

Oh I bet all that butter in this tomato soup makes it divine!! isn't it fun to be so excited about a cookbook!!

Sarah said...

Beautiful photo and the soup looks scrumptious! I need to take a peek at her cookbook next time i'm at the bookstore.

Fresh Local and Best said...

Your photo is beautiful! This looks like a terrific, flavorful and hearty soup. Yum!

The Cooking Photographer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kitchen Butterfly said...

I join you in the cookbook addiction - who ever thought 'reading a good book' would stretch its boundaries to include directions for soups...:-) And I LOVE PW too

Unknown said...

I don't often find myself laughing out loud when reading food blogs, but this one was great! I'm ready to try this one. Seriously ready.

And trust me, after you've photographed your photogenic cows, you'll want a bowl or 6 of this soup!

The Cooking Photographer said...

Hi Everyone,

Thanks for the comments. I chuckled through many of them! And Amber I'll remember always to bake that sheet cake around 40 other people lol. I love cakes like that, I would have inhaled the whole pan.


Jamie said...

What a gorgeous soup and now I can see what all the noise over this book is all about! Looks fabulous.

Velva said...

Very, very nice! The photo, Ree Drummonds cookbook, the fabulous soup recipe, everything!
Does this mean that you are going to take on a project of cooking every one of Ree's recipes from her new cookbook?

Sue said...

I love cookbooks and pre-ordered this through Amazon before its release. Yep, it's great! Her commentary is funny(just like her blog)...it's as though she's talking to her next door neighbor:) I hate to admit it, but I haven't tried anything from it yet, but now you've inspired me to do just that!

Very fun post! Made me chuckle:)

Foodiewife said...

I love Ree, too. I hope you will visit my new food blog, where we'll post her recipes twice a month...well, I'll round-up recipes from PW that bloggers have made.

This soup looks like one I'd love to make.

The new roundup blog is at:

Patricia @ ButterYum said...

...and I missed this one too????

Okay, this book is going to be #1 on my Christmas List. Can't wait to get my hands on it. I've been following Ree's blog for a long time... love it!


PS - Picture by the unworthy Laura Flowers who now wants to live on a ranch with photogenic cows someplace where it doesn’t snow. HA!!!

Anonymous said...

I want to quote your post in my blog. It can?
And you et an account on Twitter?

The Cooking Photographer said...

No you may not quote my post in your blog, you are not allowed to quote any post I do ever. Do your own work, do NOT steal mine.


Recetario Spanglish para mis hijos said...

Hi Laura, your blog is really nice. I see you have many soups as I do, since I¨m living in CA I have the habit of preparing different soups, I have two books of soups and want to make them all :)
This tomato soup is wonderful,
Best regards,

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