Sunday, April 25, 2010

Second Chance Soup

In food styling, the ingredients are the models. They are carefully selected and their every detail is scrutinized. The stem color, skin color, and shape are all taken into consideration. Once an item has the slightest wrinkle or blemish, it is cast aside. It is still totally edible, mind you, it is just not photo friendly. Needless to say, I am constantly faced with piles of produce "seconds". This includes tomatoes, several random halves of red onion, wrinkled peppers, loose cloves of garlic, and plenty of herbs that are starting to fade. This week, I decided to give these outcasts another day in the spotlight. Romas, heirlooms, and cherry tomatoes were tossed in a large stew pot along with sauteed onions, bell peppers, and garlic. After adding chopped basil and parsley with a pinch of red pepper flake, I covered the mixture with vegetable broth and let the whole thing simmer on low for about 35 minutes. A spoonful of brown sugar and a quick pass with the immersion blender and this rustic soup was perfect. Thick and hearty, it was a far cry from the canned Campbell's we all grew up on. No produce was wasted and several crew members became believers in "second chance" soup.

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