My grandmother has an incredible gift for gardening.
During the summer, her tomato plants resemble a jungle, quite frankly, bursting with sweet, succulent, bright-red fruit. They’re truly a marvel. And though my tomato plants are shriveled, sickly little things (I, apparently, inherited none of her talent), I still get to benefit from the fruits of summer. She sends them over by the pound; today, we had so many on the counter that they simply had to be used up, and fast. What’s the quickest way to use up several pounds of tomatoes at once?
Why, tomato soup, of course!
I have very little experience making tomato soup, but, true to form, I jumped right in and made it up as I went along. I tend to do the same when I’m knitting. It’s a terrible habit, but I just can’t seem to help it.
It was a terribly hot day, so I really did not want something creamy and sort of heavy, like some tomato soups. This one is fresh, light, and summery, absolutely wonderful both warm and cold.
- 3 lb tomatoes, quartered
- 1/2 large cauliflower, cut into florets
- 3 stalks celery, halved & sliced
- 1 shallot, sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, diced
- 1 T olive oil
- 3 C vegetable broth
- 2 tsp dried thyme
- zest of 1 lemon
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 1/2 tsp paprika
- Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add celery, shallot, and garlic; cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant.
- Add cauliflower, tomatoes, vegetable broth, thyme, lemon zest, and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat. Let simmer, stirring occasionally, until cauliflower is soft.
- Blend until smooth, then return to the pot. Add lemon juice, pepper, and more salt. Bring to a boil again; reduce, stirring constantly, until it’s thickened to desired consistency. Add a tablespoon or two of flour to help with the thickening, if you want. Taste, and adjust spices as necessary.
- Serve with goat cheese, chives, and toast cut into small squares.