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Creamy Tomato Soup

Posted: Friday, Nov. 30, 2012

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Chef Troy Gagliardo

Chef Troy Gagliardo is a self-taught chef that has parlayed his years of kitchen experience into many other culinary ventures. Including designing and developing his all-grilled restaurant concepts, a proprietary spice line, cook books, commercials, food styling, cooking/restaurant columns, endorsements, cooking classes, and live appearances. Troy has been voted as one of the Charlotte’s Top Five Chefs two years in a row by Creative Loafing readers and competed in the Iron Fork competition both years. Chef Troy has appeared in two national commercials with NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt Jr. and joined him for a media tour day just days before Dale Jr. won his second Daytona 500 to start the 2014 NASCAR season.For the past seven years, Chef Troy has appeared each week on Charlotte's morning show WCCB News Rising, cooking his way through "Troy’s Everyday Eats". Filmed live each week at the WCCB Charlotte studios, Chef Troy teaches his unique style of food with a simple approach directed toward the home-cook/viewer.His feature on Rising began in August of 2007, and since has become the most anticipated part of the show. During that time Troy has prepare over one thousand of his creative original recipes live on-air and has made several cooking appearances on the night time show, WCCB News Edge. Chef Troy teamed up with The Fresh Market as a sponsor for “Troy’s Everyday Eats" in April of 2011. Troy shops each week at The Fresh Market for the ingredients used on the show, he says, "The Fresh Market sponsorship is something I have pursued for a long time. I love shopping at their markets because everything is always so fresh. They have a large variety of organic and sustainable food options. As a consumer and chef, I couldn't ask for anything more". Warren publishing recently signed Chef Troy to publish his new cookbook entitled Pseudo Southern-a playful twist on the art of southern cooking, which has been endorsed by Top Chef Alum and best-selling author Fabio Viviani and also star of “A Chef’s Life” Vivian Howard. Fabio said of Pseudo Southern, "Southern food is my second home. It's as close to my heart like Italy is, and that is why I love Troy's recipes so much. They remind me of the childhood I would have had if I was born in the south”. Vivian had this to say, “Troy’s take on southern food is just left of center, fun, and refreshing. His recipes are approachable that even the most jaded cook will be intrigued to try.” Chef Troy is also a free-lance food writer for the Charlotte Observer and Examiner.com and lives in Mooresville, NC with his wife Tracy, of twenty-three years, and their two daughters, Ally and Isabella. He can be seen every Tuesday morning from 7-9 am on WCCB News Rising.

Nothing beats a warm soup on a cold day. Tomato soup and cheese sandwiches have long been a trusted favorite. However, next time you are in the mood for a killer creamy tomato soup give this charred tomato soup recipe a try.

Silky smooth, smokey, tart and a touch of tang make this scratch made soup one that you will gravitate to every time the weather turns to cold. The tomatoes can be charred in a skillet, oven (under a low broiler) or on the grill for an even bigger flavor.

Allow the tomatoes to cool and then simply peel the skins off, rough chop them and puree them along with the charred onion and red peppers.

Use a good vegetable or chicken stock to thin out the base before letting it simmer. The flavors are then balanced out with a touch of sugar and vinegar. Fresh basil, cream and a soft cheese such as goat cheese, feta or blue cheese round out the masterpiece to perfection.

Serve with a good crusty grilled garlic toast and you are sure to keep this soup recipe on file for years to come.

Charred Tomato-Corn-Bacon Soup

Ingredients

Step One

• 3 ½ Pounds-Beefsteak Tomatoes-halved
• 1 Medium-Red Onions-peeled and halved
• 1 Large-Red Bell Peppers-halved and deseeded
• 1 Each-Corn on the Cob-boiled, oiled, seasoned, cut of cob, reserved
• To Coat-Extra Virgin Olive Oil
• To Taste-Chef Troy’s Spice Mix- or kosher salt/black pepper
• 1/2 Pound-Bacon-cut into thin strips, cooked, drained, reserve bacon/drippings separate

Step Two

• 1 Bulb-Garlic-halved, oil, season, wrap in foil, bake 300 degrees until soft, about one hour
• 2 ½ Cups-Chicken Stock
• 2 Tablespoons-Apple Cider Vinegar
• 1 Tablespoon-Granulated Sugar

Step Three

• 1 Cup-Heavy Whipping Cream
• 2 Tablespoons-Fresh Basil-chopped, plus extra for garnish
• ½ Cup-Blue Cheese-crumbled
• To Taste-Cooked Bacon-reserved from step one for garnish

Directions

Step One

1. Preheat grill/grill pan for direct heat grilling to medium high heat.
2. Toss tomatoes, onions, pepper with olive oil and season generously with spice mix
3. Grill tomatoes, onions, peppers until slightly charred, remove and allow to cool on a sheet tray.
4. Remove skin from tomatoes and discard skins.
5. Rough shop vegetables and place back on sheet tray with all their juices.

Step Two

1. Working in batches place vegetables/juices in food processor and process until smooth.
2. Warm bacon dripping over medium high heat in a stock pot, if bacon dripping don’t equal ½ cup add olive for difference.
3. Place pureed vegetables in stock pot with bacon dripping and add roasted garlic.
4. Cook, stirring frequently until warmed through about 5-7 minutes.
5. Add stock, vinegar, sugar, lower heat to medium/medium low and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring frequently.

Step: Three

1. Stir in the heavy cream, ½ of the blue cheese and basil.
2. Stir to melt blue cheese into soup.
3. Place soup in bowls, top with blue cheese, corn, bacon and basil cut into thin strips.
4. Serve with grilled garlic toast.

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