Sunday, August 2, 2009

Dim Sum Sunday - Summer Soup

Sometimes I'm too stubborn for my own good. Evidence? My Dim Sum Sunday Summer Soup. Years ago, there was a wonderful little lunch spot in downtown Kansas City, Honeymom's. A husband and wife operated in a shared space with a eclectic furniture store. Wasn't very big, wasn't very stylish but the food was excellent. I still pine for their Mussels in curry broth. One dish I remember in particular was a Tomato Water soup. The flavor of tomato was incredible but when I asked Migul Sanchez, the chef, why he didn't make this more often he just shook his head and tried to explain that it took too much time and product to produce the soup as a cost effective dish. I should have paid more attention. Years later Migul and Susan closed up shop and moved to San Francisco but left me with the idea of trying to make my own version of the dish.
If you'd like to make this dish there's a few things you'll need. 1)Lots of Tomatoes. I used more than 5 pounds. 2)Cheesecloth and space in your fridge for tomato drainage. 3)The Patience of Job. What you have to do is extract the tomato water from the tomato flesh. This is not the same as tomato juice. There are couple of methods for producing tomato water out there on the web, google and pick which one you'd most like to use. I rough cut my tomatoes and then gently broke them down in my Kitchen Aid mixer. I then ladled the tomatoes into cheesecloth and added a generous amount of basil fresh from the garden and clove of garlic. Then I gathered it very tightly and wrapped a rubber band around the neck. I threaded a wooden spoon through a loop of the rubber band and set it on top of a large deep plastic pitcher and set the whole rig in the fridge overnight.Hopefully you'll end up with enough beautiful amber liquid to make your soup. You may have to strain it again through a paper towel to get it nice and clear.It tastes like sunshine and rainwater filtered through a tomato. Now that I had my base, I wanted to add another element. What I wanted to do was to put a new spin on a Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup so I decided to make some cheese raviolis. I mixed up some ricotta, parrano and pecorino Romano cheeses and diced up a couple of slices of pancetta and stuffed the pasta. No salt, the Romano and pancetta are salty enough. I boiled my pasta in regular water so I wouldn't cloud up my tomato water.I'm sad to report that this is a really tasty soup. If I make this a second time I think I would make smaller, more bite size ravioli. I would also invest in a pasta machine to get my dough nice and thin. I love the cheese mixture, it deepens with the tangy tomato flavor. The broth is light and summery with just a hint of the basil and garlic. If you have a bumper crop of tomatoes, have at it. It's a wonderful soup, just hope no one asks for seconds.

16 comments:

Susan said...

Wow ! I am tres impressed. I was going to melt some vanilla ice cream and blend in some fresh strawberry pureƩ and call it summer strawberry soup ... but I did not. I am sadly failing in these DSS smack downs. Well done you kook - and it's beautiful to boot.

Big Shamu said...

That would have worked for me. You'd really have to like someone a lot to make my soup. A LOT!

Buzz Kill said...

Look at you - a spin on grilled cheese and tomato soup. Wasn't that a Top Chef episode? And I have to say, the picture of the tomatoes in the cheese cloth looks like a human heart. Just saying. But the finished soup looks excellent. I like the size of the raviolli. Very impressive.

I'm not sure we'll get enough tomatoes from the garden because of the rot that we have. We've had a ton of rain this season - especially this week.

Anyway, I did a chilled cucumber soup yesterday and have posted it on the Buzzkill. I dropped the monters off at camp today after a flash flood hit the caamp. It was wet but they didn't seem to care. A whole week without them - let the festivities begin.

Dani said...

WoW! You totally rocked the summer soup!

Love how you captured the sun shining through the tomato water. So summer looking.

Big Shamu said...

I don't remember a specific episode using grilled cheese and tomato soup, Betty might have used it as her childhood fav in the Fireman Episode of Season Two. There was also a Adapt a low fat version of Family Favorites challenge in Season Three where my dish would have fit in but there was no grilled cheese.

Dani, it's like eating a spoonful of sunshine.

Boxer said...

tomato water. Very cool.

MakingSpace said...

Good goddess! That doesn't leave much time for existential angst, there, does it? Perhaps I should take up cooking...

Finished product beautiful, agree with Buzzkill on the intermediate stages looking, err, unusual. LOL

Congrats on a fascinating process and end result.

Big Shamu said...

So I've found my bleeding heart for my next Halloween party? EXCELLENT. No, no existential angst, it's ALL about the tomatoes. Any thing else that you might have to do is secondary to the tomatoes. All Hail the Tomato.

Dani said...

I miss my garden tomatoes. :( In a few more weeks I'll be able to start some seeds for the fall garden. Gonna try the tomatoes that do well with cooler temps.

Big Shamu said...

It's been a freaking bumper crop here in KC. I helped stake up some loaded tomato plants last week it was practically raining grape tomatoes.

LaDivaCucina said...

Darn. My comment was not saved so if it duplicates, me sorry!

Sham, YOU REALLY OUT-DID YOURSELF THIS TIME! Wow, La Diva is so impressed! I can't believe all the effort you put in, even making home made ravioli! I'm tired just reading the post! haha! Great photos too, as per usual!

I'm up:

http://ladivacucina.blogspot.com/2009/07/dim-sum-sunday-summer-soups-corn.html

Thanks! Great job and post!

Big Shamu said...

Yes, homemade raviolis, because in for a penny, in for a pound. Good semolina flour too. Still I need either a pasta machine or the attachment to my stand mixer.
Your corn chowder is rocking. I might have to tuck that one away when I start freezing the corn of this summer.

moi said...

Good lawd, girl. You truly be obsessed. If I'm lucky enough to get a bumper crop of 'maters, I'll try this, it looks so darn yummy. "Like sunshine and rainwater filtered through a tomato." Be still my heart.

Big Shamu said...

OK, Moi, you were warned but seeing how you've tapped your vast reserve of patience by peeling pine nuts, you may be just the woman to make large quantities of tomato water.
Carry on.

LaDivaCucina said...

How the hell do you peel a pine nut? And WHY?!!!

Anonymous said...

I can't believe you can get that beautiful a broth out of a tomato. So impressive! I can't wait to try this with my tomato harvest!