Aired November 10, 2011
A handful soft sun-dried tomatoes (not in oil)
2 tablespoons EVOO Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, grated or finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
Salt and pepper
1 cup vodka
1 28- to 32-ounce can crushed Italian tomatoes
A few leaves fresh basil, torn
1 cup heavy cream
For the Rim Rub:
1/4 cup celery salt mixed with 1 teaspoon each garlic powder and sweet paprika
In a small saucepan, bring 1 1/2 cups stock and the sun-dried tomatoes to a low boil. Lower the heat and simmer until softened, 6-7 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, heat the EVOO, 2 turns of the pan, over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrot, garlic, bay leaf and thyme; season with salt and pepper. Cook until the veggies are softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the vodka; deglaze and reduce for a minute. Add the crushed tomatoes and reduce to thicken a bit, 15-18 minutes. Add the remaining 2 1/2 cups stock, the reconstituted sun-dried tomatoes and their stock, and the basil. Puree with an immersion blender, return to a bubble and stir in the cream.
Dip the rims of mugs, bowls, or small sipping cups in warm water, then dip in the rim rub. Fill the vessels with the soup (for parties, serve in shot glasses).