Tomato Bourbon Soup with Crispy Prosciutto

After receiving an awesome gift of Bourbon from a friend, I immediately knew that I needed to recreate one of my favorite soups that Barbara Winthrop from Babarba's Kitchen introduced me to.  Although she was a bulldog in the kitchen, Barbara was a great mentor and I learned a lot about food from her.  Barbara lost her battle with lung cancer many years ago and her passion for food stayed with me. Here’s my take on Barbara’s recipe.

2- 28oz cans of diced tomato with juice

2 cups chicken or veggie stock

½ cup bourbon, 2 portions of ¼ cup

1 medium onion, roughly chopped

1 TB dried oregano

3 small/ medium garlic cloves, crushed

Dash of crushed red pepper

3 slices of American cheese chopped

2 TB Greek yogurt

olive oil

Salt and Pepper to taste

Pinch of sugar

2-3 slice of prosciutto finely chopped

4-5 basil leaves, chopped

This recipe should take less than 30 minutes in-total and costs just under $6.

Add olive oil and crushed red pepper to a stock pan on medium high heat.  Then add chopped onions and cook for 2-3 minutes until translucent.  Next add ¼ cup of bourbon to the pan and stir.  You will notice that the alcohol will cook off as the alcohol smell will dissipate and the liquid will almost disappear.  Next add stock, garlic, and the rest of the bourbon, and tomatoes to the pan and bring it to a simmer for 10 minutes.  Add the American cheese and stir.  This will add creaminess and saltiness to the soup.  You can either put this in a blender or use your immersion blender until smooth.  While the soup continues to simmer add 2 TB of Greek yogurt to a bowl and 2 TB of the soup and mix.  This will temper the yogurt so it does not curdle.  Add the tempered yogurt to the soup.  Now for the fun part, take a small strainer or sieve and pour the soup through it into another pan or bowl.  Use a ladle to push the soup through the strainer.  There will be a lot of “pulp” left over in the strainer.  You are doing this to get the smooth texture of the soup and not the texture of a sauce.  Scrape the pulp from the strainer and save in bowl.  Once all the soup is strained, add ½ the pulp back in or to desired consistency.  Add a pinch of sugar for balance. Taste.  Add more salt, pepper, crushed red pepper if needed.

In a small sauté pan add a few drops of olive oil on medium/ high heat then add prosciutto until crispy.  Feel free to omit this part if you don’t want meat.  I liked the added texture in each bite.

After soup has been simmering for about 20-25 minutes then ladle into bowls and top with crispy prosciutto and chopped basil.  Enjoy a little a bit of my food memory.