I Get By With a Little Help…

May 24, 2015

You know something has got to be good when people are willing to wait in -10℉ weather for over an hour. The Ovens of Brittany in Madison WI had food so amazing they had a line no matter what time of year it was. Dishes in the classical French style highlighted fresh, natural ingredients, paired with attentive preparation, and recipes that simply worked. Ovens transformed the local food scene making something as mundane as eating into a meaningful and delicious experience.

A great place to gather with friends, or have a date night, it was also the versatility of the place that contributed to its success. Sadly, The Ovens of Brittany is no longer in operation as a restaurant, however, they still operate a successful catering business to this day. Here in this MaryMeals version I pay tribute to the best tomato soup I’ve ever tasted. It’s close to the original version but I like it to be a bit creamier, and have a little more spice.

Creamy Tomato and Herb Soup:

  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 32 0z chicken stock
  • 1 large can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 small can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 tbsp dill
  • 1 tbsp basil
  • 1 tbsp garlic salt
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • couple dashes of hot sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup of half and half

Take half of the stick of butter and melt in a small saucepan. Add flour and stir until well blended. Cook on low heat an additional 5 minutes to make a roux. Remove from heat and set aside. In a large soup pot melt remaining butter and saute onions until translucent, then add garlic and saute additional 5 minutes. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil. Whisk in the roux to thicken the stock until smooth, reduce to a simmer. Add all remaining ingredients except half and half. Continue to simmer 20 minutes test for salt and pepper. Stir in half and half and cook an additional 25 minutes.

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