My fall fantasy: crisp frosty mornings, sharp blue sky, crunchy leaves and giant steaming bowls of tomato soup.
My fall reality: cold damp mornings, grey cloudy days, soggy leaf piles and giant steaming bowls of tomato soup.
Perfect either way, really. Mostly because of the tomato soup.
Mind you, this is not instant open a can and eat soup.
It takes time. Kind of a lot of time, really.
But it is so much better than any other tomato soup I've ever had that honestly, it's worth every minute.
Plus it totally does justice to all those tomatoes you've stored from the garden and are just now ripening.
What, you say? Fresh tomatoes?
Pick those tomatoes when they are green, leave the stem on, and wrap individually in newspaper.
Store in a cool place. I use my unheated laundry room.
Check every few days. You may get this...
Or you may get this...
Looks like tomato soup making time to me!
Roasted tomato soup.
Modified from Back to Brilliant, Y'all by Virginia Willis.
3 pounds of ripe tomatoes
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
pinch of ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups chicken stock
1/3 cup red wine
salt and pepper
Heat oven to 450 degrees C.
Cut the tomatoes into large pieces and trim out the core. Leave the skin on.
Set up a fine sieve over a big bowl. Channel your inner toddler and squeeze the seeds out of the tomatoes into the sieve. When you're done seeding the tomatoes, squish as much tomato juice from the seeds as possible. Save the juice and discard the seeds.
Put the cut and squozen tomatoes on a rimmed baking sheet, in a single layer, and sprinkle on the brown sugar.
Bake until almost all the juice has evaporated and the tomatoes are starting to crisp ever so lightly on the edges. This will take from 25 to 35 minutes. Check often because they go from perfect to charred rather fast.
When done, take them out and let them cool for a few minutes. Then, start on the next phase.
Put the butter or oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and nutmeg. Add a pinch of salt. Don't knock yourself out chopping the onion into teensie tiny pieces, we're just going to puree it later. Cook and stir frequently until the onion is soft and translucent.
Add the flour and stir constantly for about a minute or two, until the flour is thoroughly coating the onions and has lost a little of its raw taste. Add the chicken stock a little at a time and continue to stir vigorously in order to get rid of all those flour lumps.
Add the tomato juice, wine and roasted tomatoes. Bring to a boil, then turn to medium-low and simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes.
Stir regularly, because the bottom may catch.
Use an immersion blender and puree the soup. I like it very smooth, but you can leave it chunky of you prefer.
This freezes really well and can keep you in soup all winter long.
Serve this with a dollop of sour cream or creme fraiche if you want. Make this into the best cream of tomato soup ever by stirring a big spoonful of heavy cream into each bowl.
Consider Autumn sorted!