After almost a month of farmer’s market Heirloom tomatoes with fresh mozzarella and basil, I wanted to do something different with the season’s last blast of tomatoes (maters as my southern grandmother called them) and our withering basil plant. So even though it’s still summer, the ever-so-slightly brisk and cloudy-ish Sunday seemed just right for soup. Once again, I hit the Ballard Farmer’s market and brought home about 2 pounds of gorgeous multi-colored tomatoes, with the green and yellow striations melding into the red like some kind of loosely-rendered still life of the vegetable. I added two little baby tomatoes that were a gift from our friends’ three-year-old daughter (“from my garden” – so adorable).
My own daughter, six, helped me prepare this rustic soup. I basically chopped up all of the tomatoes and to the mixture added a few tablespoons of sugar, a tablespoon of salt, about a cup of shredded basil, a dash of red wine vinegar, and some chunks of a crusty bread from Macrina Bakery (browned in olive oil first). My daughter tore the bread into bite sized pieces and washed and broke up the basil leaves. We stirred it all up, and cooked it on medium for about ten minutes before pouring it into a pie pan, coating the top with freshly grated parmesan cheese and cooking it on 350 for 45 minutes.
The end product was so delicious – a comforting soup with all the gorgeous flavor of the tomatoes and basil, the “croutons” floating in it and the parmesan cheese bubbling on top. It was a nice accompaniment to my crab cakes (Maryland-style with blue crab, recipe unveiled at some other time) and spicy greens.
Suggestions for other uses of tomatoes while they’re still gracing us with their juicy presence?