Smoked Tomato Soup
This thick, tangy soup gets additional depth of flavor from smoked tomatoes.
Yield: serves 6-8
- 2 tbsp. mesquite wood chips for an indoor smoker
- 3 lb. ripe plum tomatoes, cored and halved
- 1⁄3 cup olive oil
- 10 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 1 cup dry red wine
- 2 cups chicken stock
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1⁄4 cup roughly chopped sage
- 1⁄4 cup roughly chopped tarragon
- 2 tbsp. sherry vinegar
- 8 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
- 12 baguette, thinly sliced on the bias
- Microflowers, for garnish (optional)
- Creme fraiche, for garnish
- Prepare a [stovetop smoker](http://www.saveur.com/article/Video/VIDEO-How-to-Make-a-Stovetop-Smoker): Place wood chips in a small pile in center on bottom of smoker. Place drip tray and rack on top of wood chips. Arrange tomatoes on rack, cut side down, and slide on lid. Place smoker on a stovetop burner over medium heat. When smoke appears, let tomatoes smoke about 7 minutes. Turn off heat; let sit, covered, 10 minutes more.
- Heat oil in a 4-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Add half the garlic plus the onion; cook until soft, 5-7 minutes. Add wine; bring to a boil. Cook, until reduced by half, 5-7 minutes. Add tomatoes, stock, salt, and pepper; return to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, cook until tomatoes break down and soup is slightly thick, 45-60 minutes. Stir in sage, tarragon, and vinegar. Working in batches, puree soup in a blender. Return to saucepan; keep warm.
- Heat oven to 350°. Mix remaining garlic with butter, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Place baguette slices in one layer on a baking sheet; cook until lightly toasted, 8-10 minutes. Spread garlic butter on slices. Sprinkle with microflowers, if you like.
- To serve, ladle soup into serving bowls; garnish with a swirl of creme fraiche. Serve buttered baguette slices on the side.