Impromptu Cooking Class… Williams-Sonoma

While out and about today, we decided to stop by Williams and Sonoma. It has been months (or ekk… a year or more) since I’ve been into one of my favorite cooking stores… We’d (my mum and I) had read that there was going to be a cooking class at 11a, but alas  we weren’t even in the area at that time…

So much to our suprise upon entering the store we saw they were beginning to teach “Grow, Cook, Eat: Tomatoes” class again! James was an amazing teacher, and shared  many tips and tricks with us…

Chop up the vegetables…

Peeled Tomatoes

Strain tomatoes to get the juices (and leave the seeds)

Got to get one of those… he used turbo speed, but unless you want to end up with soup all over yourself, start of slow…

My heart sank when he added butter… now I couldn’t try this one… but at least I got to try the soup!

I’m  not much of a tomato soup person, but this soup was the most delicious soup I have ever tasted in my entire life to date (all nearly 30 years of it… I’m getting sooo old!)

Two important tips when making this soup, make sure to cut an X on the bottom of the tomatoes, this helps the juices flow and makes peeling the skins easier… Why do you take of the skins you ask? Well because it will taste better of course, the skins can give the soup a bitter flavor which you DO NOT WANT.

Roasted Tomato Soup

Now, in case you were wondering I will share the recipe they gave us… (it would be cruel not to)

Roasted Tomato Soup

(In this recipe from Chef Ray Gracia, roasting further concertrates the flavor of these early harvested tomatoes. If Early girls are not available, substitute large plum tomatoes or high- quality canned San Marzano tomatoes.)

Ingredients:

20 Early Girl tomatoes

4 tbsp. EVOO

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1 large yellow onion, diced

4 celery stalks, diced

2 leeks, white and light green portions, diced

2 Tbsp. roasted garlic

8 cups vegetable stock, plus more as needed

2 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves

1) Position 1 rack in the upper third and 1 rack in the lower third of an oven. Preheat the oven to 350 F.

2) Cut the tomatoes in half crosswise and trasnfer to a large bowl. Add 2 Tbsp. of the olive oil, season with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Place the tomatoes, cut side up, on 2 baking sheets and transfer to the oven. Roast until the tomatoes are soft and slightly carmelized, about 2 hours, rotating the pans from top to bottom and 180 degrees after 1 hour.

3) In a Dutch oven over medium heat, warm the remaining 2 Tbsp. olive oil. Add the onion, celery, and leeks and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 8-10 minutes. Add the roasted tomatoes, any accumlated juices and roasted garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes. Add the 8 cups stock and the thyme, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 30 minutes more.

4) Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender until smooth. Adjust the consistency as needed with more stock and season with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls, drizle with oilve oil and serve immediately. Serves 6 to 8.

Here’s some pictures of the other amazing things I looked at while in store… and pick of what I purchased…

Spices…
Salts and peppers…
Sprinkles anyone…
Cookies in a jar…
I want…
Teas
Champagne candies and sweet basil… my purchases for the day…
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