Thursday, October 11, 2007

Tomato Bounty, part two

When my friend Patty arrived at My Beloved's birthday celebration with a nice big basket of lovely homegrown tomatoes soon after my pal Jeanne had enriched our lives with a nice big bag of same, I found myself in tomato heaven. I wanted to make something that would use up all those beautiful fruits since we have only three serious eaters in the household and one of us, the cat, turns up her nose at tomatoes.

I remembered a recipe for Spicy Tomato Soup that I had made years ago from my much-spattered copy of the hallowed Moosewood Cookbook, back in my almost-hippie phase. When I lived in Western New York I had visited Ithaca and eaten in the Moosewood restaurant - I was most impressed, so I bought the book. I remembered this soup as being really richly flavored and delicious, redolent of garlic, onion and dill.

When I opened the book, I discovered that it called for mostly canned tomatoes but I thought I could substitute fresh ones and make it even better. Unfortunately, that wasn't true - either my tastes have changed or using the canned tomatoes really is better. This time the soup, while beautiful to look at, was disappointingly flat in flavor. I'm thinking if I had roasted the tomatoes first, the soup might have had the rich tomato flavor I remembered. It looked beautiful in my black soup bowls from my pottery phase but, as my mother used to say, pretty is as pretty does.

For what it's worth, here's the recipe I used, mainly Mollie Katzen's but with the substitution of fresh tomatoes for the canned. Maybe you can think of ways to spice it up and make it a bit more interesting?

Not-So-Spicy Tomato Soup, adapted from the Moosewood Cookbook

1.5 cups minced onion
3 cloves crushed garlic
1 Tbs butter
1 Tbs olive oil
1 tsp dill weed
1/8 tsp (or more) black pepper
6-7cups chopped, skinned fresh tomatoes, plus their liquid
1 Tbs honey
1 Tbs mayonnaise or sour cream
yogurt, parsley and scallions for topping

Saute' onions and garlic, with salt, in combined olive oil and butter in a kettle or large saucepan. Cook five minutes - until translucent, then add dill, pepper, tomatoes and honey. Cover and simmer at least 45 minutes on low heat. Five minutes before serving, whisk in mayonnaise and taste to correct seasonings. Serve hot, topped with yogurt, parsely and scallions.


Anonymous Evlmprs said...

I'm also trying to decide what to do with a mountain of heirloom tomatoes right now. I'd hate to see them go bad. My latest idea is to make a giant bruschetta pizza, wit a double-helping of tomatoes. I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007  
Blogger muffintop said...

It sounds so great. Sorry the fresh tomatoes were a let-down. Oy! Can hardly believe...
I roasted (and froze) a lot of my harvest of tomatoes this year. I bet they'd be good in this recipe. I might add a dash of cream, too.

Thursday, October 11, 2007  
Blogger namastenancy said...

If you like spice, a sprinkle of garam masala or sqeezes of lime might rev the soup up. I love cream of tomato soup so your soup sounds utterly delicious to me.

Thursday, October 11, 2007  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Evlmprs, do you have enough for tomato sauce? If so, you could freeze it for winter when no good tomatoes are available! See Molly's post on Orangette for an easy recipe.

Muffintop, I want to try again but this time with roasted tomatoes to enhance that tomato-y flavor.

Namastenancy, I like the idea of adding some citrus - I still have a sizeable vat so I'll try that! Thanks!

Thursday, October 11, 2007  
Anonymous Evlmprs said...

I made the Double Tomato Bruschetta (Pizza) tonight, and it was delicious!! I used 6 of my precious heirloom tomatoes, together with Napa Valley Olive Oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, kosher salt, black pepper, and basil, and let the whole mixture sit for the afternoon. For the base, I bought a large Ciabatta and sliced it lengthwise. The flavor was perfect, but the bread didn't quite hold up to the juicy bruschetta topping; so next time I'll try the traditional baguette.

Friday, October 12, 2007  
Blogger Peggasus said...

Hi there, new reader here ~

When I have excess tomatoes (though I firmly believe there is no such thing), here is how I make my soup:

Roast the whole tomatoes with garlic, salted & peppered and doused with some olive oil, in a baking pan in the oven on lowish heat unil blistered and browned. Hell, throw the onions in there too if you like, sometimes I leave them out entirely (though I think 1 1/2 cups of them might be a bit too much). When they get how you like them, squeeze the garlic out of the sins and put everything in a pot with the accumulated juices and whirr it all toghther with the immersion blender until smooth, seeds and all.

I usually splash in a bit of fat free half-and-half too and heat it all up gently until warm. I like a dollop of pesto swirled in it, or just basil leaves if I can't wait any longer. It is pure tomato essence of flavor. It's good with grilled cheese too, if you must, or just a hunk of Parmiggiano-Reggiano to munch on.

Now please stop talking about tomatoes, as you are making me sad. Here in Central Illinios I picked my last one several weeks ago. Sob.

Saturday, October 13, 2007  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Peggasus, thanks for those suggestions - I agree that roasting is gonna help a lot next time and I really like the roasted onions and garlic idea, too. If I get more tomatoes this year, I may even try it sooner than later!

Saturday, October 13, 2007  
Blogger Zoomie said...

evlmprs, that sounds sooooo good! If you didn't before, you might try brushing the bread with some olive oil first, to keep it from getting soggy?

Saturday, October 13, 2007  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home