The Last of the Season

I’ve mentioned before how I was slow to like tomatoes, and that afterwards became ravenous for them. I still am.

This means that from May through September, I want to eat them at every meal. It also means that, come mid September, I get a little ridiculous.

Instead of buying a reasonable amount of tomatoes—say, two or three at a time—I buy them by the pound, momentarily forgetting that I live by myself, and tend to eat out several nights a week.

Wherein the problem resides.

I have pounds and pounds of tomatoes, and only one of me, and while I frequently have friends over for dinner, as it turns out, many of them do not think a plate of tomatoes constitutes a dinner.

Tomato soup seems the perfect solution—its easy to prepare, and best of all, it freezes well. Meaning, that I’ll be able to hang onto the last of the season tomatoes a least a little after the season is over.

In this case, roasting the tomatoes and garlic imparts a sweetness and earthiness to the soup. If you’re looking for something slightly richer, add in a cup or so of heavy cream, depending on your tastes. Or, you can dress it up with lots and lots of vegetables for a hearty minestrone. Stay tuned and I’ll be sharing a recipe for just that shortly.

Roasted Tomato Soup

For the Vegetable Stock
1 onion
3 ribs celery
2 carrots
1 clove garlic
1 bay leaf
approx. 1 tsp salt, with more reserved as needed
1/2 teaspoon peppercorns
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 TBS olive oil
8 cups of water

For the Soup
3-4 pounds tomatoes
1-2 TBS olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp rosemary
1 head garlic

To Make the Vegetable Stock:

On a low flame, heat the olive oil. Saute the onions, celery, carrots, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Stir for a few minutes, until the vegetables have browned slightly. Cover the vegetables with water. Add in the salt, peppercorns, and bay leaf. Allow to simmer for at least a half hour. Once you are ready to use the stock, strain out the vegetables and set it aside.

To Make the Tomato Soup:
While the stock is simmering, cut a clove of garlic about 1/4″ from the top and coat it with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and cover with tin foil. Place in a preheated 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for 45 minutes, until the garlic has become soft and has caramelized. Once the garlic has cooled sufficiently, remove the caramelized cloves from the paper. The easiest way to do this is by simply squeezing it into a bowl.

Cut the tomatoes in half and place them in an oven safe dish. Coat them with the remaining olive oil and spices and roast for 45 minutes. You want the sides to be browned, and the tomatoes to have shrunk in side by at least a quarter.

When the tomatoes and garlic are ready, combine them with the vegetable stock, adding more salt and pepper, if necessary. Combine everything using an immersion blender. Simmer for five to ten minutes and serve.

Serves 6 to 8

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Filed under Soup, Vegetables

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