Chef Bosco’s Tomato Soup (From the Seoul Hilton), Modified

November 3, 2008

When I was a little girl, I lived in Seoul, South Korea for some time. My family sometimes ate at the Italian restaurant at the Seoul Hilton–foreign food was a delicacy to us back then (early 90’s), and sometimes real cravings surfaced. Since my mom is a pretty accomplished home chef (and has managed some pretty amazing multi-course 12 person dinner parties on her own!), she, over the course of some months or years, befriended the chef of the restaurant, an Italian man named Chef Bosco (I heard he now has a restaurant somewhere near the heel in Italy).

I loved Chef Bosco’s tomato soup. For a kid who loved sugar and chocolate more than anything, the amount that I loved this soup really cannot be communicated. I craved it. My family would eat a 3-course meal at this restaurant, and I’d order this soup for appetizer, main course, and even dessert. I couldn’t get enough of it. After 3 years, when we were moving away from Seoul, Chef Bosco was kind enough to share his recipe with my mother. I have modified it slightly to recreate it most suitibly to ingredients available in the US.

600-800 grams canned San Marzano Tomatoes**
3 medium carrots, peeled
1 large onion, diced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 stick (or just scant) of butter
4+ C home made chicken stock
1 pint heavy whipping cream
4-6 T Parmesean cheese, grated
salt & pepper
Crusty bread for making crutons
Chives for garnish

Melt butter in large sauce or saute pan. When melted, add onion, garlic, and carrot. Add salt & pepper. Sautee until soft and bright in color.

Add tomatoes, and pleanty more salt. Let cook, break down, simmer and incorporate. When thickened, place into food processor, in parts if necessary. Blend until very smooth.

Add to pan large enough for all soup. Add the chicken stock (heat it/warm it first!). Mix, let come to boil. Add in heavy cream just before serving. (If you increase the batch or otherwise wish to freeze or preserve the soup for more than 3 days, do not add the cream. Add the cream before serving.) Add the parmesean cheese, let incorporate.

Serve with crutons on top, a crack of fresh ground pepper, whole or diced chives, and optional creme fraiche.

For Crutons: Dice bread. Spread evenly and in one layer on baking sheet, bake at 315-325 for 15-20 minutes, until darkened and dry. When almost done, heat 1-2 T butter in saucepan. Add 1 clove minced garlic. Let soften. Toss diced, toasted bread, turn off heat, let sit in butter.

**Tomatoes – make sure they are real and imported from the Napoli area, with the DOC identification on the can. Alternatively, use canned tomatoes from other areas of Italy that are the PLUM variety, for example, a brand from Bolghari in Tuscany has some that compare). This is VERY IMPORTANT to the quality and flavor of the soup.

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  • Reply SJ November 3, 2008 at 7:15 pm


  • Reply nancy January 8, 2009 at 5:48 pm

    Thanks so much for making this for the St. Louis group, Caroline. Everyone here is still talking about how delicious your soup was. Perfect starter for Christmas Eve. We loved having you here this year.

  • Reply Laurel January 26, 2009 at 12:42 pm

    I normally detest tomato soup…..but this was DIVINE. I went for seconds! I’m making it today to combat death cold. thanks for a lovely breakfast yesterday dear!!!

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