ARE WE ADDLED YET? Has the heat cooked your brain, softened your resolve, wilted your garden? Why yes, I say, to all three, which is perhaps why, when the Rock and I were washing our slender haul of assorted love apples from the garden yesterday, I didn’t bother to correct her when she insisted the tomatoes were potatoes and ate more carrots than she washed. It’s too hot to argue. It’s too hot to do much of anything, which is why I say: Make soup. (Does this seem proof positive that I’m not thinking clearly? No, no, I promise, this is good advice–read on.)
I’ve written before about the greatest tomato soup ever concocted , which is, in fact, also carrot soup. (Potatoes are not involved. Are you confused yet? Good. We’re on the same page.) I usually make it in the winter time, when canned tomatoes and carrots provide a warming reminder that someday, the snow will melt and we’ll once again see green, red and orange instead of white, gray, and slush.
But this time of year, the only thing I want to eat (except for pie, and potato salad) is cold soup. So I’m making the Greatest Tomato Soup, only I’m using fresh tomatoes instead of canned, and adding a gentle hit of cream or creme fraiche at the end to blend the flavors together. Same soup, entirely different day, and so refreshing that I almost (almost) can remember my own name.
Curried Carrot and Tomato Soup
1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 cups carrots: peeled, cut into 1 to 1-1/2 inch chunks (or just cheat, and use “baby” carrots)
1 Tablespoon curry powder (mild or hot, to your taste)
2 pints fresh tomatoes, any varieties, cut into rough chunks
4 cups vegetable broth, chicken broth or water
1/3 cup slivered fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup heavy cream or creme fraiche
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
In a dutch oven, heat olive oil until shimmering. Add onion, and sauté over medium heat until golden and soft, about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes, and cook for about five minutes until they’re wilted, giving up their juices. A little browning is OK, but don’t let the mixture burn. Add carrots and curry powder, and continue to cook for 10 minutes more, until the carrots just begin to soften.
Finally, add the stock or water, and bring the mixture to a gentle simmer. Cook until the carrots are soft enough to purée, about 15 minutes more. Run the mixture through a food mill (or purée with a hand bender; the former gives a smoother texture and takes out the skins and seeds from the tomatoes). Chill thoroughly, or for best flavor, overnight. Stir in the cream or creme fraiche, add the fresh basil, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
HOW OUR CROSS-BLOG SUMMER FEST WORKS
Thanks for attending Summer Fest, a four-week cross-blog celebration of fresh-from-the-garden food ideas, co-created (alphabetically listed) by A Way to Garden, Mattbites, Steamy Kitchen, and White on Rice Couple, with guest appearances from Gluten-Free Girl, Simmer Till Done and Paige of The Sister Project (hey, that’s me!). And from you—that’s critical. Your contributions are desired, and needed, whether growing tips or recipes or anything at all on topic.
So now it’s your turn: Have a recipe or tip for something wonderful with stone fruit? Leave it in the comments below, and then go visit my collaborators and do the same. The cross-blog event idea works best when you leave your recipe or favorite links (whether to your own blog or someone else’s) at all the host blogs. That way, they are likely to be seen by the widest audience. Everyone benefits.
If you wish, grab the juicy tomato badge (illustrated by Matt Armendariz of Matt Bites) and make a whole post on your blog on this week’s topic, to really jump into the sauce. Up to you: A whole post, a comment; badge, no badge—whatever you wish. (It’s meant to be fun, viral, fluid. No pressure, just delicious.)
And in case I forget, won’t somebody remind me on Twitter? Thanks. We’ll be talking it up there, too.
The Summer Fest 2009 schedule: Tuesday, July 28: HERBS. Any and all. Tuesday, August 4: FRUITS FROM TREES (also known as stone fruits, but we tossed in a berry or three, too). Tuesday, August 11: BEANS-AND-GREENS WEEK (either or both). Tuesday, August 18: TOMATO WEEK. How do you like them love apples?