August 19, 2010 - Joanne

Heirloom Tomatoes
Heirloom Tomato Soup

(Can be used as a tomato sauce, too.)
Makes 8-10 cups

5+ lbs of assorted ripe Heirloom tomatoes*
1 bunch (about 1c of packed) Basil leaves
¼- 1/3c Olive Oil
2tbsp – 1/4c Balsamic Vinegar
1 tsp Fine Salt (I used Profumato del Chianti)

Optional Equipment: Food Mill

Preheat oven to 425°F
Core Heirloom Tomatoes
I use a roasting pan for this soup. The recipe is easily adaptable to whatever pan you have. You need one that is deep enough that the tomato juices won't run all over. It's perfectly fine to have a few tomatoes squished in to fit or on top of one another. The goal is to get as close as possible to one layer of tomatoes.

First lightly rinse and then core tomatoes and remove any bad spots. You can slice off the bottom if they don’t lie flat in the pan. Fit them into the pan so they aren't piled on top of one another. You want just one layer. I use a large All-Clad roasting pan.

Fill cavity of Heirloom tomatoes with basil
Fill cavity with basil leaves/leaf. Sprinkle with salt. And then drizzle olive oil and balsamic vinegar over all.

Roasted Heirloom Tomatoes
Roast for about 40 mins or until tomatoes soften and the juices are spilling into the pan. Let the pan cool a bit until the tomatoes are a workable temperature.

Food Mill
Puree in a food mill fitted with a fine screen in batches. This removes all the skins and seeds. If you don’t have a food mill you can puree with a hand blender and press the liquid through a fine mesh sieve to remove the seeds and skins.

What gets discarded - seeds and skins
You can serve the soup immediately or refrigerate for up to 3 days. I also freeze this soup and it works wonderfully.

This “Soup” can also be used as basic tomato sauce.

Options: drizzle cream across the surface or add a small dollop of crème fraiche. You can also drizzle a flavored oil on top – but the soup has already oil in it so not too much.

*You can adjust the number of tomatoes to the size of the pan and make a smaller batch in a smaller pan - just remember to use less oil, vinegar and basil.
Often at the end of summer (or in California - the fall) you are left with lots of tomatoes - sometimes they just all ripen at once. Others are perhaps less than perfect, a little too ripe, or bruised, or not quite up to your salad standards. Here is one way we address those tomato bounties. [You can also buy “seconds” from your favorite farmer. - Jack]

August 19 , 2010 - Joanne

Heirloom Tomato Soup Recipe with Basil and Bell Peppers
Recipe: Roasted Heirloom Tomato Soup with Peppers

Serves 8

20-25 Ripe Heirloom Tomatoes – Cored
1/2c or more of Good Quality Olive Oil
2 lg Red Bell Peppers
(or other sweet bell or gypsy peppers)

(optional - dash or two of Balsamic Vinegar)

Special Equipment:
Non-reactive Roasting Pan – Stainless steel is great.
Food Mill

Preheat oven to 425°F.

The tomatoes can be any size – 20-25 medium-large ones or more if you are using smaller ones. Core the tomatoes – you can leave them whole – and place them with the hole side up in the roasting pan packing them loosely.

Seed the two peppers and split them into 3-4 parts and tuck them in between the tomatoes. Pour the olive oil over the tomatoes/peppers and season.

Optional: You can add basil – 1 leaf tucked inside each tomato or a few leaves in between.

Roast tomatoes in the hot oven until they soften and even start to brown, 30-45 depending on the size of the tomatoes you’ve chosen. Remove the pan from the oven and carefully transfer the tomatoes to the food mill fitted with the finest mesh filter - until you’ve ground all of the whole tomatoes – then pass the liquid in the pan through the food mill as well.

Enjoy with Grilled Cheese Panini and a glass of Sauvignon Blanc (a great pairing for tomato soup)

Tomatoes in Roasting Pan


Cream of Heirloom Tomato Soup:
If you intend to add cream or milk to your tomato soup then omit the Balsamic Vinegar from the recipe.

You can make the soup look creamier by a further puree with a hand held blender after the food mill step.

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