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“Hey Paula”

It is just now beginning to warm up here in “The Valley of the Sun”.  That means if we’re going to have soup, hot soup anyhow, it better be now!  I was inspired to make this after assisting a class last night at Barbara Fenzl’s Les Gourmettes Cooking School. Paula Lambert, of the Mozzarella Company, was the instructor and she made a Pea Soup with Minted Mascarpone. This mascarpone will be flavored with basil and orange in the place of mint, with a base of tomatoes instead of peas for the soup… just goes to show how versatile soup is.

Paula founded the Mozzarella Company in Dallas, Texas in 1982, and believe me, she is one talented bundle of energy and a laugh a minute!  Her delicious cheeses are available by mail order, check them out at this LINK, I promise, you won’t be disappointed!

Tomato, Orange, and Basil Soup

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, peeled and diced
(about 1 heaping cup)
1 medium potato, peeled and diced
(about 1 heaping cup)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
28-ounce can diced or crushed tomatoes, undrained
2   1/2 cups chicken broth or stock
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, packed
1/4 cup cold heavy cream
1/4 cup cold mascarpone
Grated zest of one large orange
1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

Heat a large pot over medium-high heat, when hot add the oil and then add the onion and potatoes and stir to coat immediately, or the potatoes will stick. Season lightly with salt and pepper and add garlic. Sauté until the onions are soft and translucent, stirring frequently to prevent potatoes from sticking, about 4 minutes.

While the vegetables sauté; stack and roll the basil leaves. Slice thinly in a chiffonade. Divide the basil in half, set one portion aside, and thinly slice the other portion in the other direction, to mince the basil. Keep the two portions separate.

Add the tomatoes and their liquid, the chicken broth, and the basil chiffonade (the portion that is in thin strips) cover the pot, and simmer for 30 minutes.

While soup simmers; whip the cold cream in a medium metal bowl, using a balloon whisk, just until soft peaks form.  Fold in the mascarpone, orange zest, and the minced basil, and set aside the mascarpone cream.

After the soup has simmered for 30 minutes, pour into a blender or food processor and purée until smooth (remember to remove the feed tube of the machine to allow steam to escape, or the hot liquid may explode from the force – see the steam escaping in the picture below).

Return soup purée to the pot and stir in the orange juice and half of the mascarpone cream. Return to a low simmer and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Once soup simmers, remove from heat and ladle into 6 soup bowls. Garnish each serving with a dollop of the remaining mascarpone cream and serve immediately.

Serves 6


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4 comments

1 barbara fenzl { 03.24.10 at 5:39 PM }

What a wonderful adaptation of Paula’s soup, Linda! It’s such fun sharing the kitchen with you each week, and it’s especially lively when Paula is there, too.

Love,
Barbara

2 Linda Hopkins { 03.24.10 at 5:53 PM }

Barb, for 21+ years, the joy has been and still is, all mine! Love You! xoxo

3 Paula Lambert { 03.25.10 at 1:36 PM }

Sounds delicious! Can’t wait to try your recipe!

4 Linda Hopkins { 03.25.10 at 2:23 PM }

Hi Paula, it was such fun seeing you on Tuesday, class was fantastic! I’m happy to know you had a safe trip home… until next time 🙂

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