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A 'souper' supper

Published on: February 01, 2007

For this month's Taste, we go to chef Tom Douglas for a wintertime
classic -- with a twist. Your child can help in the kitchen by
measuring out all ingredients and smashing the garlic, and older kids
can stir the soup at the stove. Even the youngest will enjoy making the
bread cubes with a kitchen knife, and operating the blender as the soup
is pureed. Delicious -- and just the thing for a family dinner on a
cold February night.

Tom Douglas, along
with wife Jackie Cross, owns five of Seattle's most popular restaurants
-- the Dahlia Lounge, Palace Kitchen, Etta's, Lola, and his newest
venture, Serious Pie, a pizzeria.

Named the Best Northwest Chef from the James Beard Association in 1994,
Douglas has written three popular cookbooks.

Because of his passion for ending hunger in America, Tom is a founder
and supporter of Taste of the Nation Seattle, a local fundraising event
which for over ten years running has sponsored the national
organization, Share our Strength.

Tom and Jackie Douglas live in Seattle with their daughter, Loretta. Visit tomdouglas.com for more information.

Tom's favorite tomato soup with brown butter croutons

Makes 6 servings

When Mom made tomato soup, she used to cut buttered toast into squares
and float them in the soup. So I like to make these brown butter
croutons nice and buttery and not too crisp; still a bit soft inside.
-- Tom Douglas

For the tomato soup:

1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, smashed with the side of your knife
5 cups canned whole tomatoes in juice
1 cup water
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon sugar


For the brown butter croutons:

2 teaspoons butter
2 teaspoons olive oil
4 slices bread (such as European style rustic bread), crusts trimmed, cut into 3/4-inch cubes

Heat the butter and olive oil in a large saucepan and sauté the onion
and garlic 5 minutes, or until translucent. Add the tomatoes, water,
cream, spices, and sugar. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer
and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and puree in batches in
a blender. Return the soup to the pot and reheat to a simmer, seasoning
to taste with more salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, make the brown butter croutons. Heat the butter in a small
pan over medium high heat until the butter begins to brown, a minute or
two. Remove from the heat and set aside. In a sauté pan, heat the oil
over medium high heat. Add the bread cubes and toast, stirring
occasionally, until golden, about 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from the heat
and stir in the browned butter.

Serve the soup garnished with the croutons.

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