Hidden between summer and fall is my favorite season of all -- tomato season.
In the spring we plant seeds, water, wait and watch. Then we water, wait and watch again until finally it is time to harvest this amazing fruit. We consume it on a daily basis enjoying its perfect balance between acidity and sweetness -- knowing all the while that we will soon be returning to the orange grocery store variety. And right now is the best part of the local tomato season.
All of the farms are now selling their seconds (the tomatoes that aren't absolutely perfect) at greatly discounted prices. On a recent trip to Verill Farm in Sudbury and Canaan Farms in Wenham, I purchased two milk crates full of heirloom tomatoes for $10 each. Although these tomatoes might not be perfect to the eye or the squeeze, they are perfect to taste making them ideal for soups.
I have come to realize that sometimes in the kitchen less is more. That I have to stop trying to 'chef it up' and just let the ingredients speak for themselves - and the recipe below is a great example of this.
Heirloom Tomato Soup makes 1.5 quarts
- 2 lbs Heirloom tomatoes
- 1 glass of wine (your choice)
- Chop the tomatoes into 1 inch pieces and put into a heavy bottom sauce pot.
- Cover pot and heat to a gentle simmer.
- For the next half an hour quietly sip your wine and enjoy the smell of simmering tomatoes.
- Once your wine is finished pour the tomatoes in a blender and puree until smooth. (be careful blending any hot liquid)
- Pour into soup bowls finish with fresh black pepper, sea salt and some shaved butter for richness.
Sam Hunt is executive chef at 15 Walnut Local Bistro in the Shoppes at Hamilton Crossing.