Sunday, August 28, 2016

Roasted Tomato and Garlic Soup

After much lamentation on the state of my green tomatoes, I am flooded with ripe red ones. Plums, Early Girls and Heirlooms lie in neat piles in baskets, on counter tops. Tomatoes are featured constantly at lunch and dinner. As I chop and puree, soup comes to mind. Bread bakes, and a sheet pan of tomato chunks and garlic roast alongside. A little olive oil and those roasted chunks are sauteed, charred bits and all. I squeeze soft garlic cloves into tomatoes along with chicken stock. In no time at all, tomatoes release their juices and my senses cloaked in essence of tomato. The blender does a fine job of pureeing the soup. I add a some milk. I drizzle some cream. Soup's up.

Serves 4

5-6 big Early Girls or Heirloom Tomatoes (or any big farmer's market ones)
1 head Garlic
2 tablespoons Olive Oil 
1 small Onion
1 Cinnamon stick
1 cup Chicken Stock 
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt 
1/4 teaspoon ground Black Pepper 
1/4 cup Milk
2 tablespoons Cream
Slivered Basil leaves

Heat oven to 400F.

Cut tomatoes into large wedges. Arrange them on a baking sheet.

Slice the top of the garlic pod, exposing the cloves. Place the pod next to tomatoes.

Bake tomatoes and garlic for 20 minutes.

Turn broiler on high.

Broil tomatoes till you see skins are charred. Watch the tomatoes carefully. The tops should be singed brown.

Heat olive oil in a deep pan.

Chop onions into small chunks. Add to olive oil and saute till translucent.

Spoon roasted tomatoes into oil. Bring to boil smashing the pulp with a spoon.

Squeeze roasted garlic into tomatoes.

Add chicken stock, cinammon and seasonings. Stir. Cover with a lid and let tomatoes stew for 15 minutes on a low flame.

Remove from fire and cool for a few minutes.

Take the cinnamon stick out of the pan.

Blend tomatoes into a thick puree.

Return puree to pan. 

Place pan over low heat and add milk. Stir well to mix.  Cook for 5 minutes.

Pour soup into a bowl.

Swirl a little cream over the top.

Garnish with basil and serve.

Soup equates comfort. Knowing that it is made with homegrown produce adds deeper meaning. An acquaintance says that we should let farmers earn their living. I agree. Then again, the riot of tomatoes culled from my small patch, brings me 'abundant' joy!

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