A world without tomatoes is like a string quartet without violins.
-Laurie Colwin, “Home Cooking”
Growing up I hated two things that were good for me, fish and tomatoes. When I took a health class in high school I realized the importance and benefits of incorporating these two beauties into my diet. It took years to change my opinion and palate, but I am slowly coming around. I started by ordering hamburgers and leaving the tomatoes in place instead of discarding them the instant they arrived on my plate. I’m still working on fish. I have trained myself to like lobster, crab and shrimp, but learning to like fish will take a little more time. Whenever I am near an ocean however I feel like it would be an insult if I didn’t give it another try. I ate Mahi Mahi for the first time in Hawaii and really enjoyed it. This past March I had some of the most amazing salmon I have ever tasted while at an awards dinner, for work, in Orlando. It takes baby steps. If I had this tomato soup as a kid, I have a feeling my thoughts about tomatoes would have changed ages ago. It is a far cry from the preservative packed can variety and is almost as easy to prepare.
- 15-20 large ripe tomatoes, cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1 leek, chopped and rinsed thoroughly, white end only
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 2 c chicken broth
- 1/2 tsp thyme
- 1 pint heavy cream
- Preheat oven to 400.
- Place tomatoes, leek and garlic on cookie sheet.
- Drizzle with olive oil.
- Roast for 30-40 minutes, turning every 10-15 minutes to prevent burning.
- Remove from oven and puree in blender or food processor.
- For a smoother texture, strain through a sieve into a sauce pan.
- Over medium high heat, combine tomato mixture with salt, pepper, chicken broth, thyme and heavy cream, stirring continually.
- Continue cooking until soup has thickened to desired consistency.
I am excited to share a tomato peeling trick with my fellow basketeers. After spending countless hours of peeling tomatoes the traditional way for salsa and spaghetti sauce by boiling for 30-60 seconds then placing them into ice water, I thought there must be a better way of peeling tomatoes. So I thought I would try using my slow cooker with very hot water set on high. I washed and cored each tomato then dumped them all into the crockpot with enough water to cover. I when went to the patio and enjoyed our beautiful day, watched hubby mow, played with the dogs, etc. for 2-3 hours. The last step was to dip them out of the hot water into a large bowl and under cold running water the peels simply slid off with no waste at all. At this point they can be used, canned or frozen.