Gone Fishin'

HEY!

I'm not actively blogging here anymore. But if you got here because you were searching for something about bikes, you might want to check out my latest project, Vermont Goldsprints. In summer of 2014, I bought a used goldsprints racing setup and have made it a mission to get more bikes in more people's faces by putting on fun races in unexpected places. Come join me!

10.16.2005

Dinner tonight and a recipe from this summer

Another thing to recover after too many nights of reheated whatever in law school is good food shared with good friends.

Kate's brother Ben came over for dinner tonight so we did onions, chicken, loads of diced garlic and baby spinach in a cast iron pan, added a big knob of goat cheese and then mixed it all up with a pound of penne pasta. Not perhaps my most elegant creation, but it did the job and Kate and Ben seemed reasonably happy. Lots of leftovers waiting for tomorrow. Slowly, I'm building up a pantry here, but it takes time.

I can't wait to get some herbs growing in the window again. We had good fresh basil all summer from seeds I started last spring, went well with all the tomatoes that came out of Kate's parents' garden back on the Cape. Actually, while I'm here with little else to write about, I might as well get down the smoked tomato soup recipe I worked up over the summer. This started as something in a Williams and Sonoma catalog but we didn't have all the ingredients and as far as the recipe went in the magazine, it only had a handful of fresh tomatoes in it and we had a garden full to use up. So, here goes:

Smoked Tomato Soup:

Pick and wash a basket full of tomatoes. Plum tomatoes are probably the best. Anyway, halve them and toss with a little olive oil, then get them on the top rack in a grill set on low. On the bottom rack, pile on a huge pile of fresh herbs. I used a bunch of basil and rosemary, and I think some thyme. Close of the grill. The herbs should dry out and smoke and it should be at least a half hour before the skins start peeling back on the tomatoes. Get them out of the grill, cool, and peel.

Saute a diced onion and a little garlic in some olive oil to start the soup. Add a big can of chicken broth and about a cup of sherry. If you use the cooking wine type sherry, you probably won't need to add any other salt to the soup. Push the tomatoes through a strainer to get rid of the seeds, add the pulp and one little can of tomato paste to the broth. Give it a stir. Add about a cup of breadcrumbs (not the seasoned ones you use to make breaded fried stuff- tear up some stale french bread into crumbs and use that). Simmer the soup for a bit and then cool and run it in a blender so it gets nice and smooth. Return to the pot, bring up to serving temperature. Take some whole basil leaves and dry them in your oven on a cookie sheet until they are crispy- spinkle one or two of these on top of each bowl as a garnish. A swirl of sour cream or plain yogurt is nice as well.

I can't say enough good things about this soup. The tomato flavor is intense and the smoky herb flavor is nice and subtle, but you won't belive the only spice actually in the soup is perhaps a little salt and garlic, with all the other flavor coming from burning up herbs on the grill! This stuff makes a lot of dirty dishes, so I'd do it at the end of tomato season and the you'll have enough to freeze for winter. To make a meal out of it, make some grilled cheese (try Cabot "Hunter's" cheddar) sandwiches on some good sourdough bread.

Enjoy!