END OF SEASON TOMATOES....... what to do!

Every year during the late summer months, tomatoes are abundant.  When I have basket loads cropping, I have to make this....... its a ritual.

Zuppa di pomodoro translated..... Italiano style Tomato soup. A simple, rustic and just plain delicious soup!  

My tomato crop was incredibly slow in ripening this year and I was lamenting the fact that I would not be able to make my soup.  I suppose I could have gone to the vegetable shop and just bought some but after all the work that I put into growing them I was determined to wait it out.  

This is the time that tomatoes are cheapest. I always try and cook seasonally as much as possible its great for the pocket and its a nice way of understanding seasons. 

My ethos, when I can, is to eat what’s in season, buy food from a farmer, pick directly from garden to table.  

toms (2 of 4).jpg

Over Summer there was lots of nurturing and trialling different varieties of tomato plants. There were some failures and I feel this was due to the cooler weather and the shorter growing period that we have in the Southern Highlands. But drum roll.......... the star performer by far was ..........

Lemon Drop Tomato - A Diggers variety. Diggers are in Victoria and specialise in heirloom plants and GE free seeds. www.diggers.com.au

Veggie gardens are so about trying different plants and seeing what works best in your micro climate. Because what grows fantastically up the road may not do too well in your patch!

Anyway...........back to my Zuppa..........

INGREDIENTS

  • 600G TOMATOES
  • BIG BUNCH OF BASIL 
  • 4 CLOVES GARLIC (thinly sliced)
  • 2 X TINNED CHERRY TOMATOES (BUT YOU CAN USE PLUM LIKE I DID THIS TIME)
  • EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL (LOTS)
  • SALT AND PEPPER
  • LEFTOVER SOURDOUGH (STALE BREAD) GOOD WAY TO USE UP

Place tomatoes, some torn up basil,  a couple of sliced garlic cloves, sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and roast  in oven at 200 c.

In a large saucepan pour in a big splash of olive oil and saute off the rest of the garlic. Make sure it does not brown too much, you want to flavour the oil only.

Add the tinned tomatoes and 1/2 cup of water. Bring to boil and simmer for 20 minutes or so.

I tear the bread up into small chunks and place into soup bowls. Drizzle a little olive oil on top.

After 20 minutes, when your soup has cooked, remove tray from oven and scrape into the soup. Make sure you get all the crunchy bits and flavour from that tray! Tear a heap of basil leaves into the soup and pour more olive oil into the saucepan. Stir......I am salivating writing this. Add more seasoning and adjust flavour to your taste. You might want to add a bit more water....but remember this soup is meant to be thick, rustic and silky. Don't be frightened by adding that olive oil...it makes the soup.

 

toms (3 of 4).jpg

Now you can choose whether you eat your soup hot but I prefer mine on the cold side. Not straight from the fridge cold but room temperature. I just feel the flavours are far more intense.

Simple, nutritious and if you love tomatoes this recipe is for you.

Perfect for using up all those late season tomatoes.

Let me know what you think!