Friday, September 12, 2008


Everything is coming up tomatoes....and squash. So what's a girl to do but make soup, of course. The best soups are the simple ones, full of fresh flavor from the garden vegetables. Go wild with the garnishes if you must. For tomato soup, I carmelized a chopped onion & 2 shallots in olive oil, added about 15-20 assorted tomatoes cut in 1/2 (seeds and all). I cooked that down for over an hour on low heat, covered. For flavor, I added some fresh basil and cilantro as well as 4 large garlic cloves, peeled. Once the tomatoes were tender and very soft, I removed the skins by pushing the mixture through a colander into another pot. I then added 1/2 cup of half & half, one T of sugar, a pinch of thyme, a handful of shredded fresh basil, and S & P to taste. I cooked this for about 15 minutes to meld the flavors. A dollop of sour cream and some shaved parmesan reggiano cheese was all I wanted, but I served bowls of Jasmine rice, pine nuts, pecans, shredded basil, and cilantro to round out the topping bar. My version was inspired by a recipe in Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, by Deborah Madison. Her Summer Tomato Soup is on p.216:
Melt 3 T butter in a soup pot over low heat;
Add 1 C of diced shallots and cook for about 10 minutes;
Add 5 Lbs juicy tomatoes cut in big pieces;
Add 1 tsp salt and 1/2 C water to pot;
Cover & cook for 3-4 hrs. Strain, add S&P to taste, serve.
Deborah suggests a splash of lime juice & diced avocado.
I'd add shredded cheese, cilantro & sour cream & serve with
fresh tortillas heated 'til slightly crispy in a buttered fry pan.

But what's soup without a samidge? We're hooked on BLTs, although my personal choice would be a BCT. I love the way the cheese oozes out when the sandwich is perfectly grilled. The browned butter in my pan adds a nutty taste and the toasty bread crunches when I take a bite. This is a sandwich with a lot of bang for your buck. Its chewy texture gives me a mouthful of cheesy/salty goodness that sticks to my teeth and keeps the flavor going long after each bite.

And speaking of toast, we watched an old episode of Two & Half Men last night. Jake, precocious kid that he is, came up with the perfect crime. Death by toast. You just eat the evidence.

Squash soup with the fixin's.


carmen said...

yum, looks so good! i love a soup & sandwich meal. :)

Sue said...

I love your blog. I wish I had more time to cook and bake. Your soup sounds delicious.