Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Tomatoes Galore!!

Every couple years, I seem to go through a blockbuster year for different vegetables and fruits I grow in my yard.  One year was grapes - 4 different kinds of grapes.  One year was Japanese cucumbers.  I went crazy looking for ways to use up Japanese cucumbers.  I did find out Japanese cucumbers do not make very good dill pickles though.  Came out too soft.  This year, it's tomatoes.  I've probably made more tomato based foods this year than any other year.  I'm slowly freezing fresh tomatoes whenever I get some free space in my packed freezers.  In addition to fresh tomatoes, I've stored pizza sauces, marinara sauces, and tomato soups that I continue to make.

I like to caramelize tomatoes a bit before making soups, marinara sauce, or pizza sauce.  I'm making tomato soup here.  Just cut up, salt and pepper, and drizzle of olive oil.  Goes in 425 F oven for about 45 minutes.  And it looks like this.

For making soups, I normally don't follow recipes unless I'm interested in certain recipes and go by taste test.  After making countless soups, you get the feel for what to use and what to avoid.  For this particular soup I minced garlic, onion, carrot, celery and saute them in olive oil until soft.  Added the baked tomatoes, 2 C of beef broth, drizzle of more olive oil, some sugar to counteract the acidity, salt and pepper, and handful of basil leaves from my garden.   Bring to boil and simmer for maybe 1 1/2 hours. Use immersion blender until well blended or can use blender.  If it seems too dry, add more water.  What I wanted was tomato soup that announced itself with lot's of tomato flavor without addition of cream, milk, etc.  The result is this.

I drizzled some more of my favorite California Olive Ranch olive oil before serving.  BTW, I highly recommend their olive oils.  I like to drizzle some over my favorite Greek style plain yogurt with some black pepper.

Along with tomato soup I made bacon, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, and egg sandwich for dinner.  Yes, more tomatoes being used. We are very fond of Japanese style breads and purchase our breads from our local Japanese markets.  Our favorite is their raisin bread.  A little pricy, but just like breads found in Japan. 


No comments: