Saturday, August 14, 2010

my beautiful heirloom tomatoes, and the delicious soup they make

remember these guys? well, it's payday. all the fuss planting the tiny seeds, making sure they got enough sun and water those critical first six weeks, then transplanting them in the garden, the constant weeding and watering, staking poles to give them support as they grew - it's all paid off. i now have red, yellow, purple and green heirloom tomatoes ready for picking every day. they are very juicy and sweet, and i can tell each variety by taste alone. i love them all, but my favorites right now are those green-yellowish ones. they have a pale green flesh that is a bit more tart than the others. it's lovely in salads. the purple ones are good slicers for sandwiches. the tiny yellow ones are sweet and flavorful, but soft, so they're harder to slice. they are going to get roasted for passata.
(and by the way: this post is a long time coming! every time i went in the garden, at any hour, i was assaulted by a gazillion blood thirsty mosquitos and it was impossible to stay longer than 30 seconds. today i braved it and i am ravished beyond repair. it's like the 11th plague is ongoing in my backyard. anyone know why they're so vicious this year?)
anyway, they're still worth it.

big gal on the left clocked in 1 lb 13 oz, or 835 gr.

and the best part yet: there's more to come!

the first thing i always make after eating a few of them raw, in salads, is cream of tomato soup. it's as comforting to me as a giant hug, if hugs were filled with summer and sun. it's a very simple thing. these tomatoes are so tasty they require little intervention. i like it with croutons, and i've been know to bake meatballs in it once i've had my share.

summer cream of tomato

2 tb olive oil
2 cups onion, julienne
1 cup carrots, thinly sliced
1 cup celery, diced
4 pounds heirloom tomatoes, roughly cubed
1/4 cup lightly packed basil, chiffonade
2 ts coarse sea salt
1/3 cup half and half

saute the mirepoix in the oil over medium heat until the onions are soft and translucent, but not browned. add the tomatoes and the salt and cook on medium hight heat, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes, until the tomatoes have given off their juices. do not add water. when the tomatoes start to boil lower the heat to low and simmer partially covered 30 to 40 minutes. stir in the basil. remove from heat and go at it with your immersion blender or puree in batches in a food processor. stir in the half and half (or cream, milk, sour cream) and correct seasoning. you're done, enjoy.


  1. Dana, you've got TREASURE!!! And your soup looks divine! The mosquitoes drive me insane as well..sigh...sorry you've got to put up with them this year..

  2. I wish I had such luck growing tomatoes - my plants never make it, so I must rely on the farmers' market. Your soup looks heavenly!

  3. thank you celia! my neighbour just showed me this solution you spray around to keep them away. i guess i'll have no choice but to use it.

    lynn, thanks so much. i don't have great soil at all, so i had to buy fertilizer. it's still entirely organic, so it's a small price to pay.

  4. the soup looks fantastic,love addition of celery !

  5. WOW, great tomatoes I'm impressed. The soup looks delicious- even better made with homegrown tomatoes.

  6. Homegrowing is so much fun!
    Your soup looks delicious and the texture seems perfect.:-)

  7. Oh, these are so lovely! I wanted to plant some heirlooms this year and DH said "They don't even look good - can you imagine how they taste??" Argh! Next year, we're planting some heirlooms! LOL

  8. alison, thanks a lot!
    louise, thank you so much. i'm overjoyed myself :) each time i see another one ready for pick i get so content!
    makka, thanks! i hope next year to clear more room for eggplants.

  9. karen, thank you. you must talk him into it! they are so gooood! i've been eating a lot of salads since they've started to ripen, plus simple plates of just tomatoes and feta or goat cheese. not even a dressing on them. it's not required, they're so flavorful!

  10. This looks delicious.

  11. Such a nice variety of tomatoes. and love the soup

  12. simmering now -- looks delicious. can i freeze once i add cream? thanks!

  13. des, thank you!

    shanthi, thank you!

    amy, it will freeze just as well with or without. the basil will loose its nice green, but that won't affect the taste. you can sprinkle some fresh basil on top when you defrost it. i really hope you liked it!

  14. You began with seeds, not starts. From what I understand, that's not easy. Bravo! Your soup looks delicious.

  15. denise, thank you! i couldn't find heirloom starts, that's why i had to buy seeds - not by preference! it is a bit of work and i was second-guessing every step. they gave me the biggest scare after transplanting them in the garden - they all wilted and i thought i had not acclimated them properly, but they perked up in a couple days.

  16. thanks, dana. it was terrific. i had a bowl w/o cream which was great, too. then a sample with, even better. the perfect recipe for me today - csa pick-up was 20 giant tomatoes.

  17. That success must feel and taste great : )

  18. These tomatoes are just gorgeous! I wanted to plant some heirloom this year, but as it was we were lucky to get any in the ground at all with all the rain we've had. I hope we'll get some ripe tomatoes before the season's over, otherwise I'm going to end up with a lot of picallili!!


we appreciate your feedback