Tummy Tuesday : Peter Berley’s easy tomato soup on Building Flavorful Soups, Bluprint

Tummy Tuesday : Peter Berley’s easy tomato soup on Building Flavorful Soups, Bluprint

dragonfruit at Sprouts, photography M. LaFreniere, all rights reserved
Dragonfruit at Sprouts. I was tempted to buy it but I don’t know if you eat it raw or cook it or what. It’s a gorgeous color though.

Yay! It’s Tummy Tuesday again.  Add your link at the bottom of the post to the blog hop if you’ve got a post or pic that’s food related.

I said I was going to do the 7 day FREE trial on Bluprint after I got back from California. I am an affiliate for Bluprint and Craftsy, see disclosure near bottom of post). It used to be called Craftsy but Bluprint is the monthly subscription side.  Before I signed up I went through the offerings to see what I might liked to do to be sure I’d be finished in seven days.  During the signing up for the trial, I found the monthly subscription was discounted to $9.99 a month so I breathed a sigh of relief.  I had found a few classes and $9.99 sounded cheap to me as I had found at least five I really wanted to do.

cutting tomatoes, copyright by M. LaFreniere, all rights reservedOne of the things I was looking for was cooking — simple cooking and also no carbs as I lost a few more pounds and I want to keep going.  I can generally follow a cookbook but I am no gourmet cook who knows tons of complicated techniques and has the gadgets to prove it.  It’d be helpful if the recipe was for one or two as well as I’d like to avoid tons of leftovers while I learn.

Peter Berley’s Building Flavorful Soups seemed perfect for me.  The first episode is actually an intro, a short teaser to tell you what you will expect to learn.  Peter tells the fairytale of the Stone Soup which is the groundwork for his philosophy.

tomotoes unsalted on left and salted on the right, photo by M. LaFreniere, all rights reserved
tomatoes unsalted on left and salted on the right

The second episode is where I started.  He teaches you to make two soups : hot tomato broth and cold gazpacho.  Both start the same.  You need 3 pounds of tomatoes and a tablespoon of sea salt.  That’s it.  You gotta love this man.  I went to Sprouts for the tomatoes as I thought they might taste better than Fry’s or Safeway although I didn’t think I’d spring.  Huge tomatoes for 88 cents a pound.  Took four to make three pounds.  Since I was at Sprouts and admittedly a tad peckish, I bought thirty pounds of food.  I know because I weighed them when I got home.  Why did I weigh them?  I took the bus for the half mile walk to the bus stop — need those steps!  After all, I was only going to get a few pounds of tomatoes.  Well, that thirty-pound half mile walk back was doable.  You know why?  Because I lost 25 pounds.  It blows my mind I used to carry around all those pounds every darn day.  No wonder I was tired all the time.

salted tomatoes, photo by M. LaFreniere, all rights reserved
Salted tomatoes — lots of liquid

Ah well, I digress.  In the past, Ibotta had given me a rebate for salts that I was able to use on different visits so I had gotten regular salt, rock salt, sea salt and kosher salt so I am ready for any salt needs I might have. I finally get to use my sea salt.  Yay!  (I am still doing rebates on Ibotta.  If you’re into rebates especially grocery store ones and use phone apps, download Ibotta, put in this code as the referrer “smtiuhc” and we will both get money.  I think it’s ten dollars but you have to activate at least one rebate to get it.  Just signing up won’t do net you the $10, you have to do a rebate. It’s pretty easy though.  They list things by stores and they have most of the grocery chains in the app. Later when you’re getting money out, you can send it to your Paypal account or if you prefer change it into Amazon, Wal-mart or other giftcards)

So the first step is easy

3lbs tomatoes
1T coarse sea salt

unsalted tomato liquid, photo by M. LaFreniere, all rights reserved
scooting the unsalted tomatoes over, digging down to the bottom of the bowl to finally find the little bit of liquid of the unsalted half

Step. 1.  chop the tomato into big chunks

Step 2. sprinkle on  sea salt, stir a bit to make sure all the pieces is salted.

Step 3. Leave the tomatoes for half an hour so the salt can draw out the water and soften the tomato.

Berley said the salt draws the water out of the tomatoes.  I never heard that salt could do that so let’s check it out.  As any pseudo scientist would do, I seperated my samples. Since I had 4 tomatoes, I put two in one bowl and two in another and salted one bowl.  After half an hour, I checked it out.  My bowls were not the same size but you could see a huge difference. The salty one had more liquid, almost like two layers of liquid, a red one mostly and a clearer layer on top.  The other bowl was smaller and I didn’t see any liquid so I had to dig through the tomatoes to find any and there it was.  It had the red tomato liquid out but not the more watery liquid layer.  It was a lot less liquid than the salted one.  Sure surprised me.  I’m a little disappointed too as I had hoped to skip the salt as I don’t cook with salt.  I stirred the two bowls together so both sets got the salt to draw out more liquid.  Set it aside for another half hour and wow, there was a lot of liquid after the half got salted too.

pureeing the tomatoes, photo by M. LaFreniere, all rights reserved
Pureeing the tomatoes

Step 4. Next after letting the chopped tomatoes sit for a half hour or so, you dumped everything into a blender to puree everything.  I can’t find where mom hid my blender (don’t ask) so I used my mini fruitshake mixer thingie.  It’s a tall stick with a whirrer on the bottom.  I love that thing.  (I’ll try to find it on Amazon to show it to you but I don’t think I’ve got the name right, lol)

stirring the puree, photo by M. LaFreniere, all rights reserved
stirring the puree in the strainer so liquid can escape

Step 5. Once everything is pureed, you pour all of it through a strainer to separate the fluid from the pulp.  Berley warns us that the pulp will tend to plug up the strainer so you’ll need a spatula to stir around in and around the strainer to stir the pulp back up.  The spatula needs to have a curved side to match the strainer’s curves.  Eventually everything drains out and you mush down on the pulp until there is no more juice in it.  All the juice should now be in the bowl or pan (whatever you strained into) and that will be your tomato broth.

leftover tomato puree, photo by M. LaFreniere, all rights reserved
leftover tomato puree gunk

The tomatoes made me a little over 4 cups of tomato broth.  Here I divide the tomato broth into two sections as he teaches us to make gazpacho after this one so I will be needing half for that. I refrigerate half to make gazpacho tomorrow.


Step 6.  Heat the tomato broth.

heating tomato broth, photo by M. LaFreniere, all rights reserved
Heating tomato broth

Now while your tomato broth is cooking, Berley teaches you to make a fresh herb puree.  Mine came out a little spicier because I put in two garlic gloves instead of one — Oh darn, writing this and looking at the recipe, I forgot the lemon juice. Ok, I still have some left so I’ll add some later.  When the soup is done, he sets out garnishes to top the soup so people can make their own personal bowl of soup to their taste.  The herb puree is one garnish.

herbs, photo by M. LaFreniere, all rights reserved
getting ready for the herb puree

He thinks of the garnishes for the soup like Jazz; that you can put different things together on the fly to make something unique everytime. His others were grated aged cheddar, scallions and rice.  So hmmm, I don’t have those since it wasn’t in the recipe I looked over (so it’s a good thing to watch the video rather than just read the recipes, you learn some more with the video). So I did onions (forgetting I had green onions, darn!  green onions look better on red), minced it up.  I didn’t have grated cheese but I had slices of monterey so a slice it is.  So on my hot soup, I sprinkled in fresh minced onions, the slice of monterey and sprinkled some herbal puree.  Mine did not come out as pretty as his.  Next time, I might cut up my slice into a more interest shape like maybe slices with scalloped edges.  How’s that?  Laughing, it might be a while.

Anyway my soup tasted good although it was a tad salty.  I think that is Arizona soil.  I’ve noticed tomatoes here taste saltier than in California and Japan.   I thought my tomatoes tasted salty to begin with which is why I ran the salt test above. Arizona has a problem with salt accumulations in the soil that gardeners are always compensating for.  Today, I found out from my experiment that the salt helps to draw the liquid out so I know I need some salt for sure to make this soup.  Still maybe next time I will try half the salt with the Arizona tomatoes and see if it still pulls the liquid out. Also, to be fair, I never salt when I cook.  I cut back on salt a long time ago and the simplest way was just to not cook with it so I probably like things with less salt than most people to begin with.  Still it is a good soup and simple to make.  I like the soup and especially the garnish components.  It would be a great soup for when friends come over.  You could put out various cheeses and things.

I liked the video.  Berley is very clear and he makes it easy to follow along.  Another thing I like is he tells you why like why you need salt which is not something you get simply by reading most recipes.  Another plus is the effort you made in making the puree makes two soups. Along with the video, Bluprint gives you the recipe so you can print it out.  That’s a definite plus.

Some cookbooks by Peter Berley

The Flexitarian Table: Inspired, Flexible Meals for Vegetarians, Meat Lovers, and Everyone in Between

Fresh Food Fast: Delicious, Seasonal Vegetarian Meals in Under an Hour

Modern Vegetarian Kitchen, The

While I’m an Amazon affiliate, this has no effect on your prices. Your price remains the same. See Amazon disclosure in the sidebar.

I am an affiliate of Craftsy which owns Bluprint so I’ll get a little fee if you check it out. I get 4% on Craftsy if you buy yarn and stuff; some of their stuff is 50% off. I don’t know how it works with Bluprint as it’s a subscription thing.

Bluprint has a ton of different videos.  I am going to do a thai cooking next.  Click on the banner below if you’d like to try it for 7 days.  Craftsy also has classes that you can buy straight out — it’s not the monthly view anything plan like Bluprint — it’s more of an a la carte thing.  I like Bluprint‘s set up especially since when I started my 7-day trial earlier this week, the monthly is usually $14.99.  I tried to see if the $9.99 sale was still on but I don’t see anything on it.  So the best info I can give you is that when your 7-day free trial is over, the monthly will probably be $14.99 and if the sale is still on, just count your blessings.  Even if it was $19.99 a month, I’d still think it’s a good deal.
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Roundup of last week’s Tummy Tuesday (8/21-8/27/18):

1. Peking Palace : Mary (cactus catz) – restaurant review
2. Grilled Turkey, Bacon, Radicchio, and Blue Cheese Sandwich – Comedy Plus  – photo
3. Chilorio – A Regional Dish Mastering Globalization – Irene – recipe
4. Fish Soup – Ladyleemanila – recipe

This week’s Tummy Tuesday (8/28-9/3/18):

Join the Tummy Tuesday’s blog hop. Post anything about food: a restaurant review, a recipe, food photography, a funny food quote, a food song, an essay on food — anything food related because you know like the song says, “Food, glorious food.” Add your food blog post link below.

This Tummy Tuesday blog hop is closed. Please go to the most recent Tuesday to view the current Tummy Tuesday.


12 Replies to “Tummy Tuesday : Peter Berley’s easy tomato soup on Building Flavorful Soups, Bluprint”

    1. I agree, less salt is better. I think salt overpowers other tastes too so if you don’t salt things, you taste them more, if you know what I mean.

      Hope you had a great Labor Day weekend.

    1. You forgot the link! I went back and checked though and found it — it was under your cactus fruit — I didn’t reconnect it with your article because I think of it as Asian. (Besides, honestly, I have a lousy memory)

      So all I have to do is slice it? I remember now when I read your post I had wanted to try it because it looked like rounded sesame cookies

      1. Thank you for including the link. I added it as an entry for Tummy Tuesday, but forgot to mention that I had done that!

        Ah, yes, now I remember the sesame comment (I have a lousy memory these days, as well, hee hee), and yes, just sliced, and very easy to peel as well.

    2. Oh I see, you added the link in the blog hop! So folks if you want to see her post on dragon fruit, just click on the #2 link

  1. Wow, Mary, I am impressed! So many projects you are following … and following through!
    I have a post on how to slice and eat dragon fruit, from July I think, I can look up the link for you if you would like to check it out.

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