Do tomatoes grow in Louisiana? Yes, they do. I’ve not had much luck, however, at growing them in my garden. But thanks to roadside stands and farmers’ markets, I’ve got some juicy, ripe tomatoes to use. And I’ve saved a recipe for “Roasted Tomato Soup”, hoping for the right occasion to use it.
Some folks clip coupons; I clip and save recipes. A recipe for “Roasted Tomato Soup” had caught my eye and I’ve filed it away it hoping for a good time to prepare it. It used ingredients that blended well together and sounded delicious when made into a soup.
In this recipe, tomatoes and garlic are roasted in the oven in olive oil and balsamic vinegar making a great flavor combination. Carrots, onions and thyme add aromatic flavors. I’ve got lots of thyme growing in my garden for the soup. I like the idea that no cream base or chicken broth is added to the soup–it is made from just tomatoes. This soup is the perfect place to use the ripe tomatoes.
The recipe is from Il Posto, a popular Italian cafe in uptown New Orleans. This small restaurant is tucked away in a largely residential section of town and features the creative cooking of chef Madison Curry–a New Orleans native who returned home to start her own restaurant. Panini, soups, salads, antipasti plates, coffee and pastries are on the menu.
The recipe was published in an article of Country Roads Magazine, a monthly publication based in Baton Rouge that gives news and events, reviews of restaurants, people, places and things. The magazine is a good resource for finding out what is going on in the community. Assistant Editor and food writer, Lucie Monk, adapted the recipe from Il Posto, reducing the quantities and serving it with focaccia. Lucie’s article, including her adaptions, can be found online at http://www.countryroadsmagazine.com/featured/blogs/the-good-feast/test-kitchen-roasted-tomato-soup
Making the soup
The soup is easy to make. Put on some good music, chop the tomatoes and garlic, sit back and relax as the tomatoes roast in the oven along with the olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
In the second step of the recipe, the onions and carrots are sauteed, with the tomatoes, garlic and thyme and seasonings added in.
All this is pressed through a seive for a smooth, thick soup.
In the original article, the soup was served with focaccia, a flat oven-baked Italian bread. I added croutons to the soup. It could be served with any crusty French bread or flat bread.
When preparing to make the soup, I suggest weighing the tomatoes since the size varies. This recipe calls for 6 tomatoes or 2 pounds of tomatoes. My 3 large tomatoes weighed 2 lb. I recommend using a generous 2 to 2 1/2 lb tomatoes. For the thyme measurement, I used about 1 Tbsp of fresh stripped thyme leaves.
Kitchen gadgets are fun and sometimes it is rewarding to remember that something stashed away is actually useful. (I never throw out an old kitchen gadget.) In the final step, I pureed the soup using a food processor then strained it through a sieve. Next time I’ll use a food mill such as the one that I keep in the back of a cupboard.
This handy gadget crushes the pulp of the tomatoes and other foods as the handle turns clockwise. Then reverse the motion of the handle to scrape up the tomato skins and seeds left behind. It saw hours of use at my mom’s house when she canned tomato ketchup and tomato soup– I’d kind of forgotten about it–but it is a very useful gadget. I see that it can be purchased on Amazon and other internet sites.
Regardless of what method you use, the final soup should be smooth, thick and creamy. The aromas of all the ingredients blend together.
It Posto's Roasted Tomato Soup from Lucie Monk, Country Roads Magazine
- 6 large (about 2 lbs.) tomatoes, stemmed and quartered
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1/8 cup good-quality balsamic vinegar
- 6 large garlic cloves, peeled
- 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup yellow onions, chopped
- 1 carrot, chopped
- fresh thyme
- 1 cup cold water
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare the tomatoes, then spread the tomatoes and garlic out on a sheet pan. Drizzle with oil (1/8 cup) and vinegar, salt and pepper. Roast the tomatoes in the oven until very dark in spots, about 25 minutes. Remove and allow to cool.
- In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine the remaining oil, the carrots, the onions, and a pinch of salt. Stirring occasionally, cook until the vegetables are very soft, 8 to 10 minutes. Add fresh thyme and saute the vegetables for about one minue. Add the roasted tomatoes and water to the saucepan. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Puree the tomatoe mixture using a hand blender. The mixture should be very smooth.
Used with permission from Country Roads Magazine http://www.countryroadsmagazine.com/featured/blogs/the-good-feast/test-kitchen-roasted-tomato-soup
I hope you enjoy the soup as much as we did. This is a great way to use ripe tomatoes from the garden, roadside stands and farmer’s markets in the summertime and autumn.