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Published: Monday, 9/8/2008

Tomato Soup

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon butter

1 medium onion, sliced

1 small leak, white and light green parts, sliced

Pinch of salt

2 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced

2 pounds ripe tomatoes (about 10 medium tomatoes), washed, cored, and sliced

A large pinch of salt

1 scant tablespoon of white rice

bay leaf

1 small spring of savory, thyme, or basil

1 cup water

1 tablespoon butter

Warm a heavy-bottom pan. Add olive oil, butter, onion, leek, and pinch of salt. Cover and cook until soft but not brown. Add water to keep from browning if necessary. Add garlic and cook 2 minutes. Then add tomatoes, large pinch of salt, bay leaf, and sprig of herb. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes fall apart. Add 1 cup water and 1 tablespoon butter.

Continue cooking for another 10 minutes, until the rice is tender. Remove herb sprig. Carefully ladle soup into a blender not more than one-third full. Blend until smooth, about 1 minute. Pass the pureed soup through a medium strainer to remove skins and seeds. Taste of salt. Add more water if soup is too thick.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Source: The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters

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