Friday, April 17, 2009

Charred Tomato Soup with Pesto and Prosciutto Stromboli

Friday, April 17, 2009

I've settled into a routine as of late where I find myself neatly storing away the recipes I've made, sure that I'll write about them soon or planning to use them for one of those days when I just don't feel inspired to write anything interesting. My past few posts, however, have been falling for short of the interesting category, which tells me I should have been posting about a few of my delicious dinners!

One of my very first posts was about this soup, and if I do say so myself, I think I described it in quite the appetizing way. Consisting of roasted tomatoes and onions, pureed and made rich with cream, and served with a salty, spicy stromboli, only slightly oozing with cheese, it makes a wonderful meal, especially on a colder evening. Not to mention that it qualifies as a full meal, according to my SH, who is never quite satisfied with a bowl of soup unless something substantial accompanies it.

Charred Tomato Soup with Pesto and Prosciutto Stromboli, from 365: No Repeats, by Rachael Ray

6 ripe plum tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
1 small red onion, cut into chunks
2 tablespoons EVOO, plus some for drizzling
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tube refrigerated pizza dough, such as Pillsbury brand
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour or cornmeal
1/2 cup store-bought pesto (the good stuff they sell in the refrigerated case in tubs)
12 slices prosciutto di Parma
4 slices Provolone, deli sliced
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
2 tablespoons dried Italian seasoning blend
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 quart chicken stock or broth
1 cup heavy cream
20 fresh basil leaves, shredded or torn

1. Preheat the broiler to high.
2. Arrange the plum tomato halves, skin side down, with the onions on a rimmed cookie sheet. Drizzle EVOO on the vegetables and season with salt and pepper. Broil for about 4 minutes, flip, and continue to broil for 3 minutes, or until the tomatoes and onions are slightly charred. Lower the oven setting to 400.
3. Dust your hands and the dough lightly with flour or cornmeal and unroll the dough out onto a work surface. Stretch out the dough, gently spreading its rectangle shape. Cut the dough into 4 equal pieces: Working across the dough, cut it in half and cut each half in half again. Cover each piece of dough with 2 tablespoons of the pesto. (*The pizza dough is a bit unwieldy, but it doesn't matter if it all seems a bit messy-it will still turn out great, even if it's not pretty!)
4. Fold 3 slices of the prosciutto and 1 slice of the Provolone to fit each pesto-covered piece of dough, then roll each piece on an angle from corner to corner, making a long roll that is thicker in the middle and thinner on each end (*I opted to use half a slice of cheese and only 1 piece of proscuitto per roll the first time I made this dish because I was running low on groceries, and it turned out quite tasty, so don't feel obligated to load the stromboli down with all of that meat and cheese). Brush the rolls with EVOO, then mix the sesame seeds, dried Italian seasoning, and 1/2 teaspoon of the red pepper flakes in a small cup. Sprinkle and pat the mixture onto the strombolis, place in the oven, and bake until evenly golden, 12 to 14 minutes.
5. Place the tomatoes and onions in a blender or food processor and puree until somewhat smooth.
6. Preheat a soup pot over medium-high heat, add the 2 tablespoons EVOO (twice around the pan), and add the garlic and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes. Saute the garlic for a minute, then add the pureed veggies and the chicken stock. When the soup comes to a bubble, stir in the heavy cream, then season with salt and pepper. Simmer the soup for 8 to 10 minutes.
7. When ready to serve, turn off the soup and stir in the basil. Adjust the salt and pepper. Serve the soup alongside the pesto and prosciutto stromboli, dipping them into the soup as you eat them.

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