To be fair, Doritos aren't decadent. It's not usually the disposable snacky foods I find myself craving as we plan our menu each week to meet certain caloric demands. It's pizza with white sauce and pepperoni and cheese. It's steak with a loaded baked potato and asparagus that is grilled and then coated with a slab of butter and big chunks of sea salt. It's turkey pot pie or a three-egg ham and cheese omelet with multiple pieces of toast. That sort of "oh my yum" reaction seems to be missing from the food we've been making lately. It's not that it isn't good; I've never been so hyperbolic to suggest that healthy food can't be good. It just seems to fail to capture the imagination in the same way as the things that are bad for us can.
|This is what I am talking about. Bad for you. Very decadent.|
First, preheat your oven to 450 degrees. The bulk of the hour and a half this soup takes to prepare happens inside the oven rather than on top of the stove. While everything is warming up, thinly slice four cups of onions. If you are so fortunate as to have one, you'll want to use a mandolin slicer for this process. While they are convenient for any application where you have to create lots of thin slices, your eyes will be especially grateful if you can circumvent the onions in this way. Not only did I use a mandolin, but I took advantage of Boy's eagerness to help and placed him on onion duty. Not too shabby.
Take your onion slices and toss them in 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and 1/4 t. each salt and pepper in a roasting pan. Then toss them into your oven for twenty minutes.
While the onions are beginning to roast, chop up four cups of tomatoes. The original recipe calls for cherry tomatoes, halved, and the soup will definitely taste better if you shell out a couple more dollars to get the tiny fruits. Still, I used Roma tomatoes this time around and the drop-off in quality wasn't that significant. If you are using larger tomatoes, just imagine halved cherry tomatoes as you chop to get the appropriate size. You'll also want to mince (and this isn't a misprint) a 1/2 cup of garlic. Because it's roasted, the garlic in the soup is actually fairly mild, and you'll want every last piece to make it in. As soon as the twenty minutes are up, mix in the tomatoes and garlic with the onions (just beginning to turn translucent) and put them back in the oven for another twenty.
This time you can relax. Place four* slices of good artisan bread (or eight, if they are particularly small, like a baguette) onto a baking sheet, and then put your feet up. Read something or play a game. When the twenty minutes are up, scrape all of that caramelized goodness into your soup pot and put it onto the stove at medium heat. Add three cups of vegetable broth and bring it to a simmer. Meanwhile, toast your bread for ten minutes. The Eating Well recipe didn't call for turning the bread halfway through, but I did, and was rewarded with bread that didn't have any burned bits. When it is done toasting, take an additional clove or two of garlic(!), smash them, and rub them onto the slices to help infuse just a little extra garlic flavor.
|The buttered ends are for my helpers.|
|Girl was too busy to help much, but really wanted to be in the blog.|