Ivy and Lace Tea: Tomato Soup with Parmesan Frico

There are two camps when it comes to tomato soup: those who like it chunky and those who like it smooth. I vote for smooth so I purée mine in a blender. If you prefer chunky, by all means, leave the chunks in. This soup tastes great either way.

Tomato Soup

4 tablespoons butter
½ cup thinly sliced celery
½ cup thinly sliced shallots
3 cups coarsely chopped plum tomatoes, use canned if you don’t have fresh
3 whole fresh basil leaves
Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a large saucepan, melt butter and sauté the celery and shallots until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and stir in the basil leaves. Simmer for 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Purée in a blender until smooth and strain if necessary.

Parmesan Frico

Lacy Frico are easy to make and look so pretty and delicate. They taste delicious, of course. I like them served on a salad plate too.

9 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated
1 tablespoon flour

Toss the cheese with the flour. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium low heat. Sprinkle a bit of the cheese in a circle, about 2 tablespoons. Cook until the cheese is melted but not firm. Flip and cook until firm. Timing depends on how hot your heat is, how well the pan conducts heat and the temperature of the cheese. Make one to test. Remember not to crowd your skillet or you’ll have a mess. When the Frico are done, place them on a paper towel to cool or drape them over a bowl or rolling pin in you want shapes.