My town common represents quintessential New England. It is charming and picturesque and within walking distance from my home. That is a beautiful thing, especially because there is a delightful farmers market on Tuesday afternoons.
As I walk down to the market with my basket, I feel like Laura Ingalls going to the Mercantile. It seems as if I have stepped back in time. When I arrive I take it all in; people are smiling, tails are wagging, and children are dancing to the live music. There are "how do you dos?" and curtsies.
Not really. But you get the drift.
What's best? There are no metal shopping carts. There is no green styrofoam packaging. Mylar balloons do not whack me in the face as I unload my groceries onto the checkout belt. And best of all, there are no chocolate bars giving me that "come hither" look.
This week I focused on tomatoes at the farmer's market. Tomatoes are IN! They are plentiful. They are beautiful. They are round, red and happy little spheres of juicy joy!
I stocked up. I was on a mission. Roasted Tomato Soup.
Take advantage of tomato season and try this delish recipe. It is easy; it is healthy, and you can make a batch that you can enjoy throughout the week. It is even better when you make some grilled gruyere croutons. (recipe follows)
I love to serve this with a light arugula salad. Simply toss the arugula with a drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkle of kosher salt and top with freshly grated parmesan cheese.
Roasted Tomato Soup
- 3 pounds fresh tomatoes (mix different varieties if they are available)
- 8 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
- 2 small yellow onions sliced thinly
- 1/2 cup EVOO (fancy for "extra-virgin olive oil")
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 3 bay leaves
- 5 tablespoons butter
- 2 tsp Worchestershire
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves, optional
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley flakes optional
- 3/4 cup half and half (or substitute milk for a lighter version)
- 3/4 cup sour cream, optional
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Wash, core, seed and cut the tomatoes into halves.
Spread the tomatoes, garlic cloves, and onions onto a baking tray covered with foil (for easy clean-up) which has been sprayed with non-stick cooking oil
Drizzle with 1/2 cup of EVOO and season with salt and pepper.
Roast for 25 to 30 minutes
Remove roasted tomatoes, garlic and onion from the oven and transfer to a large stock pot
Add 3 cups of the chicken stock, bay leaves, butter and Worcestershire.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for approximately 20 minutes or until liquid has reduced by a third.
Add the basil leaves
Puree the soup in batches until smooth. I like to use my blender, but any mixer will do
Return soup to medium-low heat, add half and half and remaining chicken stock
Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Garnish in the bowl with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of fresh parsley.
THEN! If you want to go the extra mile, add these gruyere croutons alongside your bowl of yumminess and delightful salad.
These are simply grilled cheese sandwiches cut into 1/2" squares. Substitute any cheese you prefer.
- 4 slices of Peasant Bread (any bread will do!)
- Shaved Gruyere (or any cheese you wish)
Heat a frying pan or griddle on medium heat
Melt 1 tbs of butter to the pan or griddle
Lay 4 slices of bread on a cutting board and butter one side of each
Put two slices of the bread, butter side down on the griddle
Place cheese on the unbuttered side of remaining two slices of bread.
Put these remaining slices of bread with the cheese in the microwave for 25-40 seconds or until the cheese just starts to melt.
Remove from the microwave.
Put these slices, cheese side down onto the unbuttered side of the grilling bread ( the side facing up)
Flip when the cooking side is golden brown
Cook alternate side until it is golden brown
Cool for a minute or so. Use a sharp chef's knife to cut into little cubes.
So, there you have it- a healthy, wholesome, filling, and farm-fresh dinner. It was easy. Everyone loves you. You are the best.
And that's The Dish
Because the table matters.