Tomato Soup

It’s almost tomato season! We have baby green tomatoes all over our plants, and I can’t wait until they turn juicy red. In the meantime, try your hand at this tomato soup. It makes a big batch, so it’ll be perfect for hot summer days when you can’t stand the thought of cooking another meal. Just warm it up and serve!

Tomato Soup

Based on Bon Appetit

You’ll need:

  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • fresh basil–about half a cup of packed leaves
  • 2-28 oz cans of tomatoes–whole, diced, or crushed
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 4 cups broth
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • ground black pepper

1. Melt your butter in a large stock pot over medium heat. By large, I mean large–6 quarts or bigger. If all you have is a 5 quart stock pot, simply reduce the amount of water you put in, or you will have a mess on your hands.

2. Once the butter melts, add onions and garlic, and cook until onions are translucent, 5 or 6 minutes.

3. Add basil. Stir until it wilts.

4. Add tomato paste. Cook for another 5 or 6 minutes.

5. Add the tomatoes and all their juices, honey, broth, and water. Stir. Bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer for 45 minutes or so. The soup will reduce substantially.

6. Remove from heat, and let the soup cool for a few minutes. Puree the soup in batches in your blender, or use an immersion blender to break up the remaining chunks of onion and tomato.

7. Stir in cream, return to medium low heat, and allow it to cook for another 10 minutes. Just enough time to make some grilled cheese!

IMG_0354Enjoy!

Smells like summer!

 

Next to strawberries, I can’t get enough tomatoes in the summer. They smell like summer. They taste like summer. This idea isn’t novel on Balance and Blueberries, but I can’t help myself from reminding you about it.

You’ll need:

  • Bread
  • Butter
  • Garlic powder
  • Tomato
  • Basil
  • Mozzarella

1. Set your broiler to high. Cut your bread into small pieces. For “normal” slices of bread, cut each in a quarter. Butter, and sprinkle with garlic powder.

2. Put bread under broiler for 3-4 minutes, or until toasted.

3. Slice tomato and mozzarella cheese.

4. Stack and enjoy!

 

 

Pasta Sauce

This past summer, I canned an exorbitant amount of tomatoes. Once we consider that there is only one of me, and that tomatoes aren’t a regular part of my diet, I feel like we really can accurately call the amount of tomatoes I have in my basement “exorbitant.” This not merely melodrama, people. This is reality.

Coming to the aforementioned conclusion, I realized that I need to start eating my canned tomatoes, instead of just leaving them to sit on my shelf. All lonely like. Pretty and organized. But lonely.

Over lunch today, I consulted my trusty Joy of Cooking for some inspiration, and made a quick and easy pasta sauce out of one of the jars.

Pasta Sauce

Adapted from Joy of Cooking

You will need:

  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 shallot, diced (alternatively, you could use 1/2 small onion)
  • 1-15 oz can of diced tomatoes (or a pint sized jar)
  • 1 tsp. basil
  • 1 tsp. thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Add 1 Tbs olive oil to a small skillet.
  2. Once it is hot, add diced onion and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add remaining ingredients, bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce to a simmer and cook until desired consistency.

While your sauce is simmerin’ (15 or 20 minutes is all it should take), cook up your favorite kind of pasta. When it is done, drain it, adding 1/8 cup pasta water to your pasta sauce. Let the pasta sauce simmer for 2 more minutes, and then top your pasta.

Done and done! This recipe will make two servings. Double or triple as needed.