One of the great items we grabbed from the swag table at last week’s International Food Blogger’s Conference, is Aneto’s Cooking base for Valencian Paella.
Paella is a classic rice dish of Spain. Rice, tomatoes, saffron, chicken, rabbit, duck, garlic, all cooked together…what’s not to love? It’s certainly a favorite of mine anyway and, for this Southern boy, very reminiscent of the jambalaya of my childhood, though a little less spicy and with a distinct floral aroma from the saffron that’s used to color the rice.
As I didn’t want to come in second fiddle should one of my amazing fellow food bloggers from IFBC decide to actually make paella with this imported (from Spain) paella base, I tried to think of something unique that I could use this flavorful base in.
Then…fate intervened…and my seven-year-old daughter breezed into my office and announced that she would like tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner.
Eureka! What better base to make an awesome tomato soup than that box Aneto’s paella broth?
Plus, it’s super simple, as all of your spices and flavorings are already included in the base.
Now I make a pretty tasty bowl of tomato soup, but the the paella base added who new neighborhoods of flavor…deep, rich and creamy, with a savory, meaty finish exotic with saffron, celery, and rosemary.
Seriously, I’m sure it makes amazing paella as well, but make sure to pick up TWO boxes…and save one for this tomato soup!
Valencian Paella Tomato Soup
2 Tbs. olive oil
12 oz organic, low-sodium tomato paste
1 sm. sweet onion
3-4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 box (33oz) Aneto Valencian Paella Cooking Base, warmed
2 cups of milk (or water), warmed
2-3 Tbs. fresh basil, chiffonade
Finishing salt (optional)
In a large pot, heat oil on medium-low and cook the onions and garlic 3-4 minutes until onions are translucent (do not brown your garlic.)
Stir in tomato paste and let it cook another 3-4 minutes, stirring often.
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Slowly add the warmed paella base, then milk or water (to taste) whisking constantly. Increase heat to medium and bring to a low simmer, stirring.
Top with chiffonade basil and pan toasted croutons (optional).
Serve as is, or along side a delicious grilled cheese like this one with extra-sharp cheddar, pan crisped prosciutto, baby greens, and spicy homemade peach & red pepper jam.
Come back tomorrow for that recipe!