Since it’s still warm here, I chilled the soup, but it’s equally good offered warm. As garnishes I topped each serving with a dollop of sour cream, some crumbed bacon, and a sprinkle of julienned orange peel. Oh, and for the L part of this recipe, I cut Romaine lettuce into thin strips and scattered it over the soup!
BLT Soup—Warm or Cold
5 bacon slices (about 6 oz)
1 cup chopped onion
1 tbsp chopped garlic
1 1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp kosher salt plus more as needed
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
2 lbs summer tomatoes, unpeeled, but seeded and coarsely chopped to yield 4 cups
4 cups reduced sodium chicken stock
1/4 cup orange juice, preferably freshly squeezed
2 tbsp tomato paste
1/3 cup sour cream
1 tbsp finely julienned orange peel (See note.)
5 to 6 romaine leaves with ribs removed, cut into fine julienne strips to yield 3/4 cup
1. In a medium large, deep-sided pot set over medium heat, fry the bacon until golden and crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. When cool, crumble or coarsely chop .
2. Pour off all but 1 tbsp of the drippings in the pot. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring often, until they are translucent and starting to turn golden, 3 to 4 minutes.
Stir in the basil, 1/2 tsp salt, and cayenne pepper. Then add the tomatoes, chicken stock, orange juice, and tomato paste. Stir to blend. Raise heat to high and bring to a simmer.
3. Reduce heat to medium and cook soup, uncovered, until vegetables are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Puree the soup in batches in a food processor, blender, or food mill. Or, use an immersion blender to puree the soup in the pot. Season the soup with more salt and cayenne pepper if needed.
4. Serve the soup warm or chilled. (Chilled soups often need extra seasonings to intensify their flavor.) Ladle the soup into 6 shallow bowls and garnish the center of each serving with a generous dollop of sour cream. Sprinkle some orange peel, bacon, and romaine over the soup. Serves 6 with one-cup servings or 4 with larger servings.
Copyright Betty Rosbottom 2014
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