The size of the diced celery should be about 1/4" or slightly smaller than the canned diced tomato pieces.
Instead of tomato juice and fresh peppers, I made my own tomato juice in the blender -- medium speed for 30 seconds -- using 15 ounce cans of tomato sauce and chipotle seasoned diced tomatoes (including the liquid). Thick and flavorful and just the right consistency for the soup base.
I made the soup puree out of the traditional Muir Glen organic tomatoes and sauce and saved the limited edition reserve (2010) for the "chunks" -- one 15 ounce can each of Meridian Ruby Fire Roasted Tomatoes and Meridian Ruby Diced Tomatoes.
The soup cooks for a total of 15 minutes and added the vodka during the last five minutes.
At the last minute, when the soup was cooled, I decided to add 3 tablespoons of uncooked vodka and the juice of a whole lemon (so it had the vodka and lemony taste of a cocktail) without the buzz).
Chill and serve. Garnish with fresh horse radish and sour cream, lemon, celery or get creative and use pickled green beans or other pickled. Serve Tabasco Sauce on the side for the adventurous!
3 Tablespoons olive oil
4 celery ribs, diced evenly into 1/4 inch pieces
15 ounce can of organic tomato sauce
15 ounce can of chipolte flavored diced tomatoes, including the liquid
Two - 15 ounce cans of Muir Glen Meridian Ruby Fire Roasted diced tomatoes (or one each of fire roasted and original)
1 teaspoon of lemon zest
1 Tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
8 drops of Tabasco Sauce
3/4 cup of chicken, beef or vegetable broth
3/4 cup of vodka
After the soup has cooled for 5 minutes, add:
- 3 Tablespoons of vodka
- Juice of a whole lemon
- A dollop of horse radish cream (made with 1 Tablespoons of jarred or fresh grated horseradish mixed with 4 ounces of sour cream)
- Lemon slices
- Celery sticks, trimmed and with leaves
- Tabasco Sauce
- Additional ideas: pickled vegetables such as green beans, asparagus
ABOUT THE FOOD
Organic Canned Tomatoes
I rarely cook with canned foods, preferring to use homemade stocks, fresh vegetables and the like. But for some ingredients I prefer canned or frozen over "out of season/fresh" shipped from far away lands when I can't get an item I need at the farmers market and my freezer supply has dwindled.
Canned organic tomatoes are one of those ingredients (so are other organic products such as canned beans, frozen fruit, corn and lima beans). As far as canned tomatoes are concerned, as a locavore I prefer Muir Glen brand for two reasons: one, they are organic and two, they are grown in California. While California is not exactly "local", it is "more local" than Italian grown products (most high quality carton or canned tomatoes are made in and shipped from Italy) and Muir Glen uses sustainable farming practices.
The Meridian Ruby's that I used in this recipe are a special edition of Muir Glen brand tomatoes which are hand-harvested and canned within 8 hours. Later this month and similar to a wine club, Muir Glen's Small Planet Foods, the makers of Meridian Ruby reserve tomatoes, will release the 2010 limited edition harvest to members of their Tomato Connoisseurs' Club. (NOTE: You can buy a reserve kit beginning November 15 for $8 including shipping). As a club member, you'll also receive a Tomato Vine Dining Tour recipe booklet which includes all the lunch items I tasted at the "Vine Dining Tour" Launch event.
My favorite recipe in the booklet is the Fire Roasted Tomato Burgers with Aioli Sauce, Sweet and Sour Sauce and prepared by Chef Scott Pampuch of Corner Table restaurant in Minneapolis.
|Chef Scott Pampuch of Corner Table, Minneapolis, MN at New York's Astor Center|
|Pampuch's Fire Roasted Tomato Burgers|