March 07, 2010

Potage Magali - Mediterranean Tomato Soup with Rice a la Julia Child

The soup base
3/4 cup thinly sliced leeks and onions or onions only
3 Tb olive oil
1 1/2 lbs. fresh, ripe, red tomatoes
4 large cloves garlic, minced or mashed
4-5 cups liquid: light chicken stock, or canned broth and water
1/4 cup plain, raw, white rice
Bouquet in cheesecloth:
6 parsley springs, 1 bay leaf 1/4 tsp thyme, 4 fennel seeds, 6 large fresh basil leaves
A large pinch of saffron threads salt and pepper

In a 3 quart stainless or enamel saucepan, cook the leeks and onions slowly in the oil to tender. Meanwhile, peel and halve the tomatoes, squeeze out seeds and reserve juice. Chop tomato pulp roughly and stir into the cooked leeks/onions. Add the garlic and stir over moderate heat for 3 minutes. Then add the tomato juice and liquid, bring to a boil and sprinkle in the rice. Add herbs and saffron; season to taste with salt and pepper. Simmer, partially covered, for 30 minutes.

Carefully taste for seasoning, adding pinches of sugar to bring up flavor and counteract acidity, and small amounts of tomato paste if needed for color and taste. Remove herb bouquet.

To serve
Serve hot or chilled and sprinkle with minced fresh basil, chervil or parsley.

Recipe courtesy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking Volume Two, Julia Child/Simone Beck. On Barnes and Noble or Amazon.

Finally, a plug for Mrs. Child, I'd prefer not to live without MAF/I & II, so, I highly recommend the investment in cash and time. She provides brilliance. And my family waits for her Zucchini Tian (VII). 

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