meta name="p:domain_verify" content="8b08da541f8a920e6 Marie Z Johnston: Late Harvest Tomato Soup

Monday, October 25, 2010

Late Harvest Tomato Soup

Carmel by the Sea is my home town, it sits between the ocean and fertile valleys where vintners, farmers and equestrians share the sunshine. Every time I return home, I'm impressed all over again by the majesty and sheer beauty of this place Steinbeck called The Pastures of Heaven.
Most of my friends here are food obsessed... and it's no small wonder given the year round  abundance and variety available to anyone with a hankering to garden, forage and/or trade. 

So when my good friend Mark dropped by with a bag of ripe Heirloom tomatoes 
the vines had pushed out in one last crop (it's the end of the season - even here) and he told me how he'd been preparing them lately, it sounded just too delicious to ignore.

It's pretty simple actually.  Pick up about 2 lbs of ripe tomatoes (preferably some that smell like tomatoes) wash them and cut them into wedges, then cut the wedges in half.

Toss 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil into an 8 quart pot over medium heat - add the cut up tomatoes and cook over medium heat , stiring occasionally, until they've melted into a thick sauce.  This should take about 20 - 30 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper to taste... now, at this point you could toss this amazingly simple tomato sauce over your favorite al dente pasta (I like to add a clove of raw garlic and olive oil to the drained, hot pasta BEFORE adding sauce) top with some grated parmesan and dinner is served.  BUT... that's not what I did.
In the US we can buy tasty, organic, low sodium chicken broth. Can't do that in Paris so I've gotten into the habit of turning every chicken carcass into broth... which is embarassingly simple:  Break up the carcass, throw it into a 4 qt. pot with a couple of unpeeled garlic cloves and a few pepper corns, barely cover with water, put a lid on it and simmer until you small the deliciousness (about 30 minutes) and VOILA! Tasty chicken broth you can use now or freeze for later.
But I digress....

Add about 1.5 qts (6 cups) of chicken** broth to the cooked down tomatoes, adjust the seasoning and bring to temperature.  Ladle into your favorite soup dish and garnish with chopped fresh basil or marjoram or oregano or thyme or a nice blend of all of them if you like. 

Serve with you favorite crusty bread and a crisp bitter greens salad, perhaps a little goat cheese, a nice red wine... life is good. 

Oui, la vie est belle.

A bientot,

** for you vegetarians (Albany)...  go ahead and substitute vegetable or mushroom broth.


Anonymous said...

So at midnight in Cincinnati where do I get this dish? Even Skyline is closed.

Albany said...

can't wait to make this!
looks so yummy!
glad I am your vegetarian friend...probably the one.. haha!

alexisbriet said...

Yum! Sounds like the perfect thing to make when sick.