The holiday season is the busiest time of the year, especially in the kitchen when you’re hosting a house full of guests. There’s nothing better to spread cheer and warm spirits during the cold months than gathering around the table for a wholesome hot meal. This holiday, take a tip from a true tastemaker. We asked Chick-fil-A head Chef, Brian Kolodziej for his favorite food to make during the holidays.
“Growing up in New Hampshire, after a day’s work (or play) outside, there was nothing better to warm us up than a batch of soup or chowder, a pot of chili, or even a pot pie.”– Chef Brian Kolodziej
“Growing up in New Hampshire, after a day’s work (or play) outside, there was nothing better to warm us up than a batch of soup or chowder, a pot of chili, or even a pot pie,” Kolodziej said. “Even living in the South, I welcome in the winter season with a fire in the fireplace and hearty comfort foods.”
Kolodziej is a classically trained chef with a degree in Culinary Arts from Johnson and Whales University. But when he’s not mastering the flavors on the Chick-fil-A menu, he’s cooking for his family at home, too.
Chef Brian shared the recipe for his favorite comfort food – Roasted Tomato Soup – that he says any at-home cook can master!
- 2 1/2 pounds fresh ripe plum tomatoes
- 6 cloves garlic, peeled
- 2 small yellow onions, sliced
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 quart chicken stock
- 1/2 bay leaf
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
- Wash, core and cut the tomatoes into halves. Toss the tomato halves, garlic cloves, and onions with olive oil, salt and pepper, and spread evenly onto a baking tray. Roast for 20 to 30 minutes, or until medium golden brown, stirring occasionally.
- Remove roasted tomatoes, garlic and onion from the oven and transfer to a large stock pot. Add 3 cups of the chicken stock, bay leaf, and butter. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until liquid has reduced by a third. Wash and dry basil leaves, and add to the pot. Turn off heat.
- Using a blender, puree the soup mixture until smooth. Return pureed soup to a pot over low heat. Add cream and adjust consistency with remaining chicken stock, if necessary. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Garnish with cornbread croutons, serve and enjoy!
Ingredients for Cornbread Croutons:
- Prepared corn muffins or corn bread, baked & cooled to room temperature
- Olive Oil
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
- Cut corn muffins or corn bread into ¾-inch cubes; place in bowl and gently toss with olive oil.
- Place cornbread cubes on a baking sheet and bake until golden – about 20 minutes.
- Cool and reserve for soup (or salad) garnish.
- Press Enter at the end of this line to add more directions
For more inspiration from the Chick-fil-A Chefs, check out the Chick-fil-A Chef Gift Guide for the foodie in your family.