Tomatoes from the garden……
There is nothing that tastes more juicer and delicious than a tomato from your own garden! They are brighter and juicer than any store bought tomato and….you know you grew it in your own garden organically! Picked right off the vine and ready to eat….now that’s what I call summer in the Northwest!
The last few years we had a very very sorry tomato season. They would grow and we ended up with lots of green tomatoes only to be disappointed by a cold front that ruined our season. No bright red juicy tomatoes last year. So this year I told Andrew, this HAS to be a great season. Damn I was right :) The last few weeks here, out tomatoes are finally turning bright red…and all at one of course! We planted 10 plants this year. All different varieties from roma, cherry, EG and few others I’m not quit sure of the names. Last April we headed south to Redding CA on a little road trip to visit Andrew’s grandpa for his 90th birthday! He has quit the little garden in his backyard and sent us home with some of his tomato starts! They did absolutely amazing in our garden and now we are just starting to harvest them :)
So what to do with all these tomatoes? They are ripening faster than we can eat them…but I’m not complaining! We are going to make and can salsa at the end of the season, and also tomato sauce, but for now while we wait for the rest, I made an easy delicious summer tomato soup with an arugula pesto. Even my daughter said this was the best tomato soup ever!
You could throw this together easily one evening after work for a light dinner. All the cooking is done in the oven, I cut the tomatoes into quarters and drizzled olive oil, some salt and pepper over them and placed them on a baking sheet for 30 minutes. While that was roasting, I made the arugula pesto in 5 minutes and had a glass of wine for the other 20 or so minutes ;) I really believe the quality of tomatoes makes this dish. If you use the store bought tomatoes it may not have as much flavour and if you don’t have a garden, head over to your farmer’s market and pick up some fresh tomatoes. Also a bonus for this recipe, you will have a lot of pesto leftover to use on another dish later in the week!
- 10 medium or 4 very large tomatoes, any variety ( I used a mix of varieties)
- 1/4 olive oil
- 2 shallots, coarsely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 Tbsp kosher salt
- 1/8 tsp sugar
- 1/4 C milk
- dash of pepper
- For the Pesto:
- 1/2 C pine nuts
- 5 oz baby arugula
- 2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 Tbsp freshly lemon juice
- 3/4 C olive oil
- 1/2 C grated parmesan cheese
- dash of pepper
- Preheat oven to 400.
- Cut tomatoes into quarters and remove middle core.
- Drizzle olive oil, salt and pepper over the tomatoes, place on a lined baking sheet.
- Roast for 30 minutes.
- While those are roasting, saute garlic and shallots in a little olive oil over medium low heat for 15 minutes.
- Set those aside until the tomatoes are done.
- When tomatoes are done and cooled enough to handle, peel the skins off and place in a blender. The skins should come off very easily.
- Add to the blender the sauteed shallots and garlic, milk, salt and sugar.
- Process until smooth.
- For the pesto:
- Toast the pine nuts until golden brown, about 4 minutes over medium heat.
- In a food processor, combine the pine nuts, arugula, garlic, salt, lemon juice and parmesan cheese.
- Pulse until combined.
- While running on low, slowly add in the olive oil and mix until combined, about 2 minutes.
- Pesto yields about 12 oz, and the soup yields about 4 main servings, or 6 side servings.
- The soup can also be eaten cold.
- Top a small amount of pesto on the soup and serve.