Thawed in mid-winter, this tomato puree is a magic realist window on summer. It smells of August. And made into Julia's Mediterranean soup (MAFC II p. 20), it is August in Nice.
Serves three or four
1/2 cup onions chopped fairly fine
2 garlic cloves pressed or chopped finely
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups tomato puree, canned, fresh or frozen (see above)
1 cup chicken stock, preferably homemade
1/2 cup cooked rice or 2 tablespoons raw rice (or 4 tablespoons couscous)
1 teaspoon herbs de Provence or fresh herbs tied together
salt and pepper to taste
a small pinch of saffron, if you can afford it!
- Heat a heavy bottom sauce pan over medium heat. Chop the onions and add them with the olive oil, stirring occasionally, for about seven minutes.
- Chop or press the garlic, and add it after about three minutes.
- Assemble the rest of the ingredients, and add them to the pot after seven minutes.
- Turn the heat to high for one minute, then down to simmer. Check seasoning and simmer on low for 30 minutes.
- Garnish with herbs and serve.