Our small plot of herbs and tomatoes doesn’t get much of a chance to grow with little fingers unable to resist the temptation of picking the little green balls, but I have been the beneficiary of a glut of homegrown tomatoes from my father in law, my bookkeeper and greengrocer.
Sitting like massive Christmas baubles on the bench it was time to use them or lose them so I knocked up a batch of tomato and basil soup (a perfect lunch or dinner for these warm days) and semi-dried the super-ripe ones. Here are the recipes which worked a treat today.
Fresh Tomato and Basil Soup
1 ½ kgs (approximately 15) tomatoes
2 tablespoons oil
2 cloves garlic
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
2 cups vegetable stock (mild flavour)
Fresh basil, torn
1 teaspoon corn flour – optional
1 tablespoon cold water – optional
Sprinkling of pine nuts
Score the bottom of the tomatoes and remove cores.
Boil a large saucepan of water. Place tomatoes in boiling water for 30 seconds. Transfer tomatoes to a bowl of icy cold water. Allow to stand for a minute, then peel off tomato skins. Chop into quarters.
Warm oil in a heavy based saucepan. Add garlic and celery and cook for a few minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Add tomatoes and stock and bring to the boil.
Simmer for 10-15 minutes.
Add plenty of fresh basil and cook for 1 minute.
* If you want to a thicker soup, mix together corn flour and cold water and add to tomato mixture and stir through.
Transfer to a blender and puree.
Serve with a sprinkling of pinenuts.
Slow Roasted Sumac Tomatoes
12 roma tomatoes
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon sumac
several generous grinds of fresh black pepper and salt
Preheat oven to 100 degrees
Cut tomatoes in half lengthwise
Combine oil, sumac, s and p in a mixing bowl and stir.
Using a pastry brush, brush oil mixture onto cut side of tomatoes.
Bake for 3-4 hours depending on look you want.