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Recipe for a Warm-up: Bloody Mary Soup
A new food memory: try my friend’s recipe for this delicious Bloody Mary Soup.
A few years ago, on what in Southern California is considered a “cold” winter day, a friend of mine asked me if I wanted a Bloody Mary.
We were actually standing on her balcony watching the sunset with friends. Despite my thick coat, gloves, and my beanie, I was still freezing! Okay, the wind was also making it pretty cold, and we had just got the fire going, so give me a break.
“In this weather?” I was a little astonished.
“Soup,” she finished.
That was when I noticed she was handing me a stoneware mug with the most delicious-tasting savory soup I’ve had in years. And now that I have the recipe, whenever I cook up a batch of this marvelous soup, I think of my friend and the great time we had with our friends that cold afternoon on her patio.
I believe food is a fabulous way to bring people together. If you’ve been following my blog for a while, then you also know that I have a real love for delicious recipes. Put them together, and you have what I call “food memories” – it’s one of the more emotional aspects of sophisticated living.
Now, with my friend’s permission, I’d like to share this wonderful soup with you, with the hopes that you’ll make some great food memories of your own. And before we go any further – yes, it is a “Bloody Mary” in the truest sense.
- 2 TBS chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 6 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 3 celery ribs, chopped
- 1-2 onions, chopped
- ½ cup of your favorite vodka (Chopin Vodka).
- 2 cups V-8 juice – your choice, regular or spicy (I use spicy)
- 2 cups chicken or beef stock (broth) (I use beef for a richer taste)
- 2 TBS Worcestershire sauce (make sure you shake it up)
- 1 28oz or 32oz can of Fire Roasted Tomatoes or diced tomatoes (I use Fire Roasted tomatoes)
- ¼ cup horseradish (prepare to taste – I use way less because I use the Spicy V-8), add a dash of your favorite hot sauce if you like.
In advance of cooking, I recommend that you prepare the “liquids” in one large bowl. Combine the V-8 juice, chicken or beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, and your tomatoes (canned or freshly cut). Don’t strain the tomatoes. Mix everything up and set aside.
Coat the bottom of a stock pot with olive oil and heat (medium). Add thyme leaves, garlic, celery ribs, onion (all chopped) and sauté on medium (cook until tender and onions are golden). By the way, make sure that your stock pot is large enough to hold everything – including all of the liquid!
Add the vodka to deglaze the veggies – scrape up all those beautiful browned bits that have stuck to the bottom of the pot. Cook until the alcohol has “cooked off” – shy of a minute at medium heat.
Get your bowl of liquids and pour it in! This is where a large stock pot is really useful. I recommend Staub’s 4-quart “Cocotte” for this task, because you’re going to heat this up until it boils, then reduce heat and let it simmer for 30 to 40 minutes. I’ve let this go for up to 50 minutes and it seems to cook up the tomatoes very nicely. But as I always say, watch your pots!
Stir occasionally while simmering. Add the horseradish and hot sauce GRADUALLY. Taste often to make sure that you don’t overpower the other flavors. You can always set aside the horseradish and hot sauce for guests to flavor up for themselves.
When time’s up, turn off the heat. Use an immersion blender to carefully puree the tomatoes, and serve warm in a big mug. This recipe will make 6-8 servings (depending on the size of your mug) and can be doubled or tripled (or more!) for your party – just be sure your pot is big enough!
The last touch: a shot of Chopin Vodka, if you like. Either way, it’ll taste so amazing served hot. Absolutely the best “bloody mary” you’ll ever make for yourself. Watch this video to see how easy it is!