When looking at a heap of fresh tomatoes ripening rapidly on one's kitchen counter, one tends to think of sweeping, efficient yet delicious ways to capture their fresh taste and make the heap smaller without too much effort. Soups and sauces are the usual options, and for good reason. They're scrumptious.
Once I got going with the whole quartering-the-tomatoes process for this recipe, I looked over and saw the pluots and plums lying there, and decided to roast a plum with the toms instead of adding the tablespoon of honey called for.
And I don't mess around trying to pour hot soup into a blender ... I use an immersion blender that I discovered my husband had, after we married. "I'll never use that," I thought. Ha! I use it all the time.____________________________________________
ROASTED TOMATO SOUP WITH GOAT CHEESE
From Lucid Food by Louisa Shafia
Make sure you have enough liquid (about 3 inches or so, or enough to fully cover the head of the blender) before you start the immersion blender. If the liquid is too shallow, the blender will fling it around your kitchen.
12 ripe tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1 yellow onion, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon honey (or roast a pitted plum or pluot with the toms)
2 springs fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, plus more for garnish
4 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup fresh goat cheese
Heat oven to 425 degrees F.
Core and quarter tomatoes, and remove and reserve the seeds for the stock. In a large bowl, toss the tomatoes with the garlic, onion, honey (if using) or pitted, halved plum, rosemary, 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, and a dash of salt. Spread the mixture on a baking sheet and roast for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the rosemary .
Combine the tomato seeds, bay leaf, and 1 cup water in a pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower heat and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Strain the stock into a bowl. Rinse the pot and return the stock to it, and add the roasted tomatoes. Bring to a boil over high heat, then lower heat and simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes.
Turn heat off and let soup cool a tiny bit. Add goat cheese and remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and blend 'til smooth with an immersion blender. Or pour the soup carefully into a blender or food processor and blend 'til smooth. Season to taste with salt, and reheat a bit if necessary.
Garnish each bowl with a few drops of balsamic vinegar, a few grinds of black pepper, and perhaps a little rosemary if you wish.
Makes 4 servings.