If you’ve bought bulk tomatoes from our online farm store then you know the feeling of making huge batches of soups, salsas, and sauce! Last week I brought a big box of heirloom tomatoes home for making marinara sauce. I separated all of the orange tomatoes out to make Alice Waters’ Tomato Soup. It’s a classic and simple dish, but not friendly to a Northeast CSA Share. The recipe calls for leeks, but our tomato harvest typically does not overlap with our leek harvest. This week I adapted for the Week 12 CSA Meal Plan. To add some volume to the soup, I added 2 large carrots, their sweetness compliments the tomatoes and brings out a brilliant orange color. I replaced the leek with a large onion and extra garlic.
This soup calls for butter, which gives it a simple richness, you can omit the butter with olive oil for a dairy free dish if necessary. I did not skimp on the butter, and it cooks the carrots, onions, and garlic down nicely. The tomatoes are added in large chunks and stewed. A tablespoon of rice thickens the soup nicely, but you don’t have to include it. Alice Waters’ strains her tomato soup, but I like the rustic texture and couldn’t be bothered with the hassle of straining it. A tablespoon of balsamic vinegar balanced the flavors nicely, and tangy goat cheese perfectly compliments the sweet soup.
Carrot Tomato Soup (serves four)loosely adapted from The Art of Simple Food
2 lbs tomatoes, roughly chopped
2 large carrots, diced
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon white or arborio rice (don’t use brown rice)
2 tablespoons butter, divided
2 tablespoons olive oil
sprig of thyme, basil, or rosemary
1 bay leaf
1 cup water
1 teaspoon plus more to taste sea salt
fresh ground pepper
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Goat cheese to garnish (optional)
Sauté the onions and garlic over medium heat in one tablespoon butter and the olive oil. Cook for about 5 minutes until carrots start to soften.
Add the tomatoes, rice, bay leaf, choice of herb and a large pinch of salt. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes fall apart. Add water and remaining tablespoon of butter.
Continue cooking for another 10 minutes, until the rice is tender. Remove the herb sprig and bay leaf. Pureé the soup with an immersion blender or transfer the soup to a blender to blend. Add balsamic vinegar, and the teaspoon of salt with many grinds of fresh black pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning in necessary. Add more water if the soup is too thick. Serve the soup topped with goat cheese, minced herbs, and more black pepper.