Wisdom Comes Suddenly

Too Many Tomatoes & Sweet Peppers Soup

September 22nd, 2013 · 1 Comment

Too Many Tomatoes & Sweet Peppers Soup

I feel like Weezer from “Steel Magnolias” right now.  I’m like an old woman who wears funny hats and walks around with bags of tomatoes. I apparently need to learn how to prune tomato plants, because even though I carefully tied up the shoots, I now have a ridiculous, cancerous mess of tomatoes growing in my back yard. I also have a few sweet peppers, after a summer of staring at bare plants.  Gardening is HARD.

I keep picking them and using them, and I’ve finally graduated from perpetually frying them. After running out of ideas, I fell back to the basics: tomato soup.  Sunday dawned cold, and the time had come.  I read through 3 different versions, all of which I’ve made in the past, and then did my favorite thing: I closed the books and mentally mixed the versions, along with ideas from…wherever.

Ingredients:

4 lbs of tomatoes (I mixed yellow heirloom, Roma, and beefsteak)

About 8 leaves of basil, chiffonade

2 sweet peppers

1.5 cups of water

2 tsps of lemon juice

2 tsp of sugar

1 small, white onion, minced

3 or 4 stalks of celery, chopped

2 chicken bouillon cubes

5 cloves of garlic

olive oil

1 cup of milk (optional)

Instructions:

Slice the tomatoes and peppers, and put on a cookie sheet with the garlic, still in its skins.  Drizzle with olive oil and salt and roast at 350 for however long you wish.  I think I roasted these things for an hour, but I’ve done less, and I’ve done more.  The decision you must make is whether or not you want to de-seed before or after roasting (or at all), and if you’re going to take the skins off the tomatoes and peppers after roasting (if at all).  I prefer it all off, but Greg prefers I leave it, which gives this soup a gritty, but not unpleasant, texture.

After roasting, take the skins off the garlic, and dump it all in a large stock pot with the other ingredients, except the milk.  Lid on, boil until it’s a consistency you like.  Mine took about 30-45 minutes. I stirred and tasted it as it cooked down, and salted and peppered it near the end. You don’t want to salt up front, because when it reduces, the salt will concentrate, and you cannot unsalt an oversalted soup.  Take it from me.

I have a hand blender, which, if you like soup, I highly recommend.  Transferring hot soup to a food processor will quickly turn you away from soup.  Unless you like steaming hot, brothy substances flying across your kitchen.  I’m not here to judge. Blend to a smooth consistency, turn off the heat, and mix in the milk.  The milk is entirely optional.  This soup is stand-alone bright and yummy, but I like creamy soups, so I usually add it.

Serves 6-8 full bowls.

Dinner Suggestion:

I served this with a Croques-Monsieur; think of it as exciting grilled ham and cheese.  I slice a pre-cooked ham as thinly as I can, and layer it with Fontina cheese.  On the insides of the bread, I spread of mixture of mayo and spicy mustard.  I’ve used all kinds of cheeses, and they all work (except for fake cheese, which I’m sure you’d never use).

 

 

Tags: Vegetables

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Sue // Sep 22, 2013 at 10:51 pm

    Thank you for sharing this. I too seem to have tomatoes coming out of my ears. We have made salsa till we can’t eat anymore. We have had so many tomatoes sandwiches I have eaten my quota of bread for the year. I have eaten them with chicken salad, eaten them with just some salt, I have taken some to my mother and sister, eaten them with cottage cheese. I needed something else to do with them. Now I have a recipe that has been tried and liked so that works for me. Thanks again for sharing. I hope to make this sometime this week inbetween all the other things going on this week and babysitting my grandchildren. Yum Yum