Quintessentially seasonal. Tomatoes and red peppers — roasted and slowly cooked into soup – against a backdrop of falling leaves and crisp fall air. I made this as a soup base, thinking that I would freeze it for the winter. It’s versatile since you can add a little rice or mini raviolis, a few herbs or smoky paprika, maybe some chopped vegetables, some cream to make a bisque and so on. But it was so delicious and we were so hungry that it barely lasted an hour. Next week, the soup base.
I can tomatoes – in some form or another from August through October, a batch a weekend to keep pace with our CSA. Every horizontal surface within a stone’s throw of my miniscule kitchen has a tomato on it, ripening. It’s actually kind of comical. However, it’s clear when I start to roast them that I’ve just about had it with canning many kinds of tomato sauce, whole tomatoes, tomato ketchup and chutney and jam and salsa and soup base.
For the soup, I roasted field tomatoes cut side up in the oven at 400 degrees until they started to concentrate their juices and sear the bottom. Meanwhile, I roasted a large red pepper skewered on a carving fork over the gas flame of the stove until black, tossed it in a paper bag to cool and removed the blackened skin with a towel. (Do not rinse with water or you’ll lose the valuable oils and the flavor.) The tomatoes and peppers, chopped up, were simmered with onions, garlic and homemade chicken stock or vegetable broth, and then pureed with an immersion blender.