My sister and my mom are two of my biggest inspirations in the realm of all things culinary. I remember days rolling out large, homemade egg noodles underneath the palms of my floured hands for turkey and noodles with my mom when I was a kid (mom – I want that recipe!). My sister has always been The Baker of the family, whipping up up-side down german chocolate cakes and homemade dog biscuits for her belovedly spoiled pooch, Rocky (I think I’ve just convinced her to do a guest post soon too...). As we’ve gotten older, each of us has grown even more in love with food and cooking (although I am still, perhaps, the biggest food dork of the bunch). Lucky for the both of them (and unlucky for me), they both live in my hometown in Grand Junction, Colorado, whipping up delicious meals together on Girl’s Nights and having get-together’s at each other’s houses for holidays and other fun events (aw, I miss my family!).
For Halloween, my sister took the reigns, and made this very cool Eyeball Soup. Just from the name of it, I couldn’t resist begging them to take a picture and send me the recipe just so that I could share it with you! I know it’s a little late for this year, but this soup is definitely on my list of treats for next Halloween!! It got raves from all the family members in attendance and is sure to be a conversation starter – but I also think it would be a great way to get your kids to want to eat a delicious tomato bisque.
And just look at that picture - isn't it adorable?!! This was a collaborative effort - my sister made the soup, and my mom documented the event by taking this picture. I think there may be more blogs in the family sometime in the near future...
Eyeball Soup, serves 6
Adapted from Martha Stewart Halloween Holiday Edition 2007
(adaptations in italics)
To make "eyeballs," scoop the centers from mini mozzarella balls, and fill them with sliced pimiento-stuffed olives.
4 tablespoons butter (or olive oil)
1 medium onion, chopped
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 sprigs fresh thyme (or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme)
2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 can diced tomatoes in basil with juice
4 stalks celery diced
2-4 tablespoons cream
In a 5-quart saucepan or Dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat; add oil and onion and celery, and season with salt and pepper. Cook until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in flour and tomato paste; cook 1 minute.
To saucepan, add thyme, broth, and tomatoes, breaking up tomatoes with your fingers. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, 30 minutes. (Remove thyme sprigs before blending.)
Using an immersion blender, puree soup in pot, leaving a fair amount of the tomatoes in chunks. Or, working in several batches, puree half (5 cups) of the soup in a conventional blender until smooth; return to pot. Season with salt and pepper and add cream. Serve immediately, or let cool to room temperature before dividing among airtight containers (leaving 1 inch of space at the top) and freezing. Garnish with “eyeballs” and enjoy!