I have an embarrassment of tomatoes to work through right now. Our garden is plentiful, plus we have some from the farm where we get our vegetables weekly. Then this past week I helped harvest at a farm specializing in heirloom tomatoes, and I came home with with pounds and pounds and pounds of gorgeous yellow, green, purple, pink, orange and red tomatoes. MMMM.
We’ve been eating tomato sandwiches and BLTs all week (which I LOVE), we’ve had tomato-mozzarella salad, we’ve had Jess’ Mom’s Summer Pasta, which I’ll share here soon and I’ve made a few batches of this golden brew. I think the original source of this was the New York Times in the 1970s, but it was part of my mom’s repertoire for so long that I think of it as her recipe.
I’ll give it to you in it’s original, unblemished state, but you’ll probably live longer if you adopt some of the modifications I use. I make this so many times in the tomato season that I can’t make it in the high-fat style or I would be as round as some of my tomatoes. The recipe itself is truly for the lazy, since it requires no seeding, coring and peeling of tomatoes and just the barest bit of chopping.
The heady scent of this soup—the pure, distilled essence of tomato and basil, plus all the good things that make those flavors even better—is as close as we’ll ever get to bottling summer. Try it and see if you agree!
Cream of Tomato Soup
1 stick butter ( I use about 2 tablespoons)
2 Tablespoons olive oil ( I use 1)
1 large sweet onion, chopped in large chunks
a handful of fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, diced
2-3 pounds fresh tomatoes, roughly chopped
3 Tablespoons tomato paste (go ahead and use the whole can)
1/4 cup unbleached flour
4 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup heavy cream ( I use 2% milk, and I think it is fine, but see what works for you–half cream, half milk? Whole milk?)
salt and pepper to taste
Heat butter in a large pot. Add oil, onion, basil and thyme. Cook, stirring occasionally until the onion wilts. Add tomato paste and fresh tomatoes, stir to blend. Simming for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
In a small bowl, mix the flour and 5 tablespoons of broth. Blend and add to tomato mix. Add remaining broth and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring frequently. Pour through a fine sieve, return to heat, add sugar and cream, then salt and pepper to taste. Simmer and stir for 3-5 minutes, serve with a garnish of chopped fresh basil. Good with bread!
What are you doing with tomatoes this week? And as usual, if you’ve got a Food Friday post to share, link to it in the comments!