The last two years, I have planted a garden loaded with different varieties of tomato plants. As much as I don’t like playing in the dirt, I do love watching the show as stems grow and the little buds magically turning into beautiful tomatoes. (And if I could bottle the fragrance emitted from these plants, I think I would be rich.)
The colors of the tomatoes range from a bright sunshiny yellow to a rich purple to a glorious red. It is like watching a movie directed by Mother Nature as I see the colors change over the season.
And after they are picked, their flavors provide the soundtrack. The little grape tomatoes have a booming flavor while their heirloom cousins planted next to them croon a softer melody. The massive Big Boys know their best harmony is on a BLT and Mr. Stripey chants that he wants to be seen on a salad.
The only problem I have with my tomatoes (besides the fact that they don’t know if they are a vegetable or a fruit) is that like every great summer blockbuster there are moments when too much isn’t always a great thing.
Every year it is the same thing happens, the plants are growing at a normal tomato rate. And then we have a couple of days of rain and next thing you know I have tomatoes falling at my feet. (They literally are falling off the vine!)
To make matters worse, we went away this year right at my tomatoes peak. I was at a panic the days before we left because there were so many so ripe ones and I didn’t want them to go to waste.
So I went to my favorite backup, roast them. Normally, I roast them and save them for sauce but the unusually cool summer made me crave some tomato soup. And if tomato soups were Oscar worthy, this one would be up for a nomination (Okay, that was tooting my horn a bit but this was WONDERFUL.)
Mother Nature’s Tomato Soup
30 roma tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
2-3 Tbsp of favorite Italian seasonings DRY
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2-3 cups vegetable broth
¼ cup FRESH basil
Salt and pepper
Optional: Some leftover roasted corn
Sprinkle each one with some Italian seasoning. (This is a play it by ear call. I just sprinkle generously. You can adjust the seasoning a the end.)
In the last 10 minutes or so of the roasting, place some olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium low heat.
Sauté the onion until translucent and add garlic and sauté until just fragrant.
Add the roasted tomatoes, basil and 2 cups vegetable broth.
Blend completely with an immersion blender. (Or put it in your big blender.)
Strain in fine sieve to remove the skins and seeds. (Don’t toss away this pulpy stuff; it tastes great roasted on bread.)
Add back to Dutch oven. If it is too thick for your tomato soup liking, add another cup of broth.
Cook over medium low heat for about 15 minutes. (I had a corncob lying around and I tossed it in for flavor.)
Taste for seasoning.
Serve alone or if you have some leftover roasted corn garnish each bowl.
I think I have at least another month left of tomatoes. The weather has been odd this year but I am still pretty satisfied with my abundant crop. Growing tomatoes really is like watching a movie with plot twists and turns. And I think I can give the whole experience two green thumb’s up!