Thursday, October 22, 2009

Mixing It Up

For many years we have purchased certain spice mixtures from Penzey's, among them, jerk and Herbes de Provence.

And then I came upon a wonderful recipe on a blog for homemade tomato soup - Provence Tomato Soup. I would send you to the original source but I am not able to find it again, for some reason. We were buying some rather expensive commercial tomato soup, but this tastes far better, with the additional benefit of no additives, except for sodium, which is impossible to escape if one uses canned tomatoes.

Provence Tomato Soup

Olive oil for sauteeing
1 large onion, medium diced
2 large cloves garlic, finely diced
1 small can tomato paste
2-3 tbsp Herbes de Provence
1/2 cup white wine
4 14-oz cans diced tomatoes (with liquid)
2 quarts chicken broth (home made, canned low-sodium, or bouillon cubes)
Salt and pepper to taste
Soft goat cheese for each bowl.

Heat a few tbsp of olive oil in a large soup pot, add the onion and garlic, and saute until nearly translucent. Add the tomato paste and the Herbes de Provence, and wine. Stir. Add the tomatoes, including the liquid. Cover and bring to a boil and simmer for about 15 minutes to blend the flavors, you don't need to cook it to death. The LOML says adding a bit of brown sugar to the soup improves the taste.

This makes 8-10 serving. The soup freezes well.

Penzey's is a good company to deal with - when we first began ordering from them, they always included a sample of another spice along with the order -- but their spices are rather expensive. The recipe requires quite a bit of Herbes de Provence, and we were going through it at a remarkably fast clip after the LOML decided to begin making this soup and eating it for a bedtime snack every night. So, I decided to see if I could make my own. In past years, before the Internet took off, it wasn't so easy to track down recipes for spice blends, now there are many to choose from.

So we took a trip to the bulk food store....

and came home with bags of spices and I began to assemble a version of Herbes de Provence as close to the Penzey's blend as I could find.

So I measured out the herbs...

And ground them up....

And here they are...

And at about the same time, we also ran out of jerk, so I went looking for a recipe for that. There must be 15 or 20 different jerks out there, all with mostly the same ingredients, but with slightly different proportoins.

And now we are good to go...


Oklahoma Granny said...

I always love finding ways to produce your own mixes. I found this post on how to make your own cream of chicken or beef soup mix the other day. I made the cream of chicken soup mix and have already used it. It was wonderful.

Tami said...

Oh my.....I'm totally into soups of all kind. Dinner consists of soup here about three nights a week.

This one looks divine.......

Leilani Lee said...

It is. Amazingly good.