Back in the Fall, I did a little project with the folks at All-Clad, in which they sent me the NS1 Chef’s Pan from their their new line of NS1 Nonstick Induction cookware and I used it to make a batch of really delicious (and totally vegan, to boot) batch of Kabocha Squash, Coconut, and Wild Rice Stew.
It was a fun project, because it made think outside of my normal patterns, and I got to play with a really fabulous pan (that Chef’s Pan has become my go-to for batches of homemade fried rice. It’s a dream). So, when they got in touch again back in early February and asked if I might want to do it again, this time with their NS1 Stock Pot, I said sure.
Just to refresh our memories, this line of All-Clad is made from anodized aluminum, has a sturdy three-layer PFOA-free nonstick interior, and is induction-compatible thanks to steel base that also helps prevent warping. The stock pot has relatively narrow base and tall sides, which makes it ideal for making stock, soup, simmering beans, or even poaching whole chickens (something people just don’t do enough).
You could even drop a blossom trivet in the bottom and use it as a medium-sized canning pot. Currently, the NS1 Nonstick Induction line is available exclusively at Williams-Sonoma and this stock pot sells for $179.95.
I’ve had this pot in my kitchen for about three weeks now and have come to appreciate its form and function a great deal. Every other stock pot I own holds 12 quarts or more, which means that when I make stock, I can’t help but make a lot (I know I could fill up the pot less, but that just never seems to happen).
Having a sturdy stock pot that holds a third less that my other pots means that I end up making a more reasonable volume of stock, which is nice. The high sides do an excellent job of preventing excessive evaporation. And the durable non-stick surface makes for really easy clean-up. This particular pot has become a piece of cookware that I didn’t know I needed, but am now very grateful to have!
In choosing a recipe to devise in this pot, I turned to my pantry. There was a moment when I considered making a big batch of brothy white beans, flavored with rosemary and parmesan rind. Then I considered doing a pasta and potato concoction, a la Rachel Roddy. Finally, I settled on a big pot of roasted tomato and basil soup.
I’ve been making variations on this soup for years now, always using Ina Garten’s recipe as a starting place. However, it’s become a particular favorite in recent years because it makes good use of two of my favorite tomato preserves — these slow roasted tomatoes and my whole peeled canned tomatoes.
I know that it’s traditional to serve tomato soup with grilled cheese sandwiches, but I tend to prefer an open-face sandwich and so opt for cheesy toast instead. However you serve it, it’s delicious!
Disclosure: All-Clad sent me the pan you see pictured above at no cost to me. No additional compensation was provided.
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Roasted Tomato and Basil Soup
- 3 pounds roma tomatoes
- 4-5 garlic cloves peeled
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 4-5 turns of a pepper grinder
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 large yellow onion diced
- 1 large leek halved, washed, and sliced
- 3 garlic cloves grated or pressed
- 1 quart home canned tomatoes or 1 28-ounce can peeled tomatoes with their juice
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves packed
- 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 quart chicken stock vegetable stock, or water
- 3/4 cup half and half
- **If you have a quart of slow roasted tomatoes from the summer in your freezer, use them instead and skip this step.** Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut the tomatoes in half and arrange them in a roasting pan. Tuck the garlic cloves in among the tomatoes. Sprinkle them with salt and pepper and drizzle the olive oil over the top. Slide the pan into the oven and roast for 45 minutes to an hour, until the tomatoes soften.
- Heat the butter in an 8 quart soup pot until it foams. Add the onions, leeks, and garlic and cook until they brown a bit and wilt.
- Add the roasted tomatoes, the jar or can of tomatoes, the basil leaves, the thyme, and whichever liquid you're using.
- Bring the soup ingredients up to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium, in order to maintain a simmer. Let it simmer for 35 to 40 minutes.
- Once the cooking time is up, pass the soup through a food mill fitted with a large screen and return it to a pot. This is to remove the thyme sprigs, tough tomato skins, and leek strings.
- Using an immersion, puree the soup. Add the half and half and taste. Season with additional salt and pepper, as needed.
- Serve warm.