If you don’t know who he is, you probably are not from around here. Tom Douglas is a restaurant mogul here in Seattle. A few of his restaurants I adore, a couple I don’t care for, and his cookbook has gone mainly unused on my shelf. The reasons are many: too busy at work, too many good episodes on my hulu queue after work, and quite honestly, too much work in some of these recipes for me. I don’t want to go on a special shopping trip for almond meal and three kinds of flours, and I don’t have the patience for most of the pastry in the Dahlia Bakery Cookbook (I’d say time, but really we all know that’s a cop out, given that I seem to have time to keep up with Rayna James’ doings on Nashville.) It’s rather brilliant on Tom’s part, because not only has he ensured that I will continue to go direct to the source with a now greater appreciation of the work and “best of class” ingredients that went into his recipes, he also sold a cookbook- touché, Tom. And that’s why you are a mogul.
For the record, the Dahlia Bakery is one of Tom’s restaurants that I really like, and that’s why the cookbook was on my Christmas list last year. It just turns out that many of these recipes are better suited to a well-staffed Viking-clad kitchen than mine. But soup- I can make soup. And so can you. Try it, and you’ll never reach for the Campbell’s again.
One thing I think Tom Douglas does well is to highlight on his menus Washington grown produce that he farms in Prosser, WA. This soup recipe calls for canned tomatoes in their juices but I added the last of my frozen cherry tomatoes from my summer garden (defrosted about half way and then pulverized in the food processor) instead of one of the cans.
Tom’s Tasty Tomato Soup
(in the book this is paired with a brown butter crouton recipe but my husband Troy and I prefer grilled cheese made with white cheddar)
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, peeled
5 cups canned whole tomatoes in juice (or a mix of fresh or half-thawed frozen garden tomatoes and canned, but if you do the garden tomatoes and do not blanche them to remove the skins, keep in mind that your soup will have a different texture. I like it and you could probably use the lycopene, but the choice is yours.)
1 cup water
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1 tablespoon sugar
Heat butter and olive oil in large saucepan, add and sauté onions and garlic until onions are translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Add tomatoes, water, cream, salt, spices, sugar. Bring to a boil then lower the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and puree in batches in a blender. Serve hot, garnished with cheese, croutons, grilled cheese, etc.