Claire and I have just finished dinner…dishes are done and I am working on my blog while Claire is continuing to study (she is currently pursuing her doctorate in clinical psychology at Azusa Pacific University).
The tomato soup turned out fantastic! I used a recipe from Alice Water’s book The Art of Simple Food. The soup came together in no time and was amazing which again has to do with the fact that we started with great tomatoes.
Here is the recipe from the book (my own comments are in italics):
Makes about 4 servings
Warm a heavy-bottomed pan (I used a 5 qt enamel Dutch oven). Add:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 medium onion, sliced/chopped
1 small leek, white and light green parts, sliced (I omitted this)
A pinch of salt
Cover and cook until soft but not brown. Add water to keep from browning if necessary. Add:
2 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
Cook for about 2 minutes, then add:
2 pounds ripe tomatoes washed, cored and sliced
1 scant tablespoon white rice (helps to thicken the soup)
A large pinch of salt
½ bay leaf
1 small sprig of savory, thyme, or basil (I actually used dry herbs only because that is what we had)
Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes fall apart. Add:
1 cup water (I used chicken stock)
1 tablespoon butter
Continue cooking for another 10 minutes, until the rice is tender. Remove the herb sprig. Carefully ladle the soup into a blender not more than one-third full. Blend until smooth, about 1 minute. Pass the pureed soup through a medium strainer to remove the skins and seeds. Taste for salt. Add more water if the soup is too thick. (I actually used an immersion blender and just blended the soup in the pot and did not strain it. Claire and I prefer the slight chunks as the soup is heartier and has a more rustic feeling. I also added ½ cup of heavy cream).
We enjoyed the soup with some bread that Claire had made earlier in the week. It did feel a little weird to be eating soup on a warm summer day, as tomato soup is a staple of cold wintery days, but sadly tomato season is during the summer. However, Claire did mention how much she enjoys eating fruits and vegetables that are at the peak of their season, to which I heartily agree.
She remarked that eating local, in season food connects us to the creation and the seasons which God created. In a day where we can go to the supermarket and get practically any vegetable or fruit that we want (however bland and tasteless it may be), there is something very enjoyable and grounding about eating the fruits in their due season. Not to mention they taste so much incredibly better as God created them to be enjoyed.
So if you have the chance, enjoy a bowl of tomato soup even if it is 100 degrees out. Trust me, you won’t regret it.