November is auspicious in so many parts of the country: the rice harvest is already in, the weather starts to cool, and the festive glow which precedes Christmas has begun to brighten the landscape.
F. Sionil Jose
Ina’s roasted colorful heirloom tomatoes…since we were headed out-of-town for a few days and instead of taking a chance that the tomatoes would go bad, I took the time to roast them and simmer them down (Ina’s recipe link below), froze the soup in a couple of containers and then I was ready for at least two meals. I’m not sure of the exact weight of the tomatoes, but 3 pounds or more of a variety/Campari, Roma, heirloom grape and cherry tomatoes went into the pan.
Perfect anytime is Ina’s roasted tomato & basil soup especially on a chilly fall night and so good that you can’t help but make a great grilled cheese sandwich to go with it and that is just what I did the first night, saved what was left and then made a tomato brodo and tortellini for another dinner. The only difference is that the brodo is thinned with either chicken stock or vegetable broth. Quick, easy and a bit heartier than one other tomato brodo that I made last year: link below. To the remaining tomato soup (2 cups), I added a chunk of parmesan rind and 2 cups of chicken stock simmered over low heat low for 20-30 minutes, add cooked hot tortellini to a soup bowl, ladle in the broth and garnish with grated cheese and basil.
Ina’s Roasted Tomato & Basil Soup, slightly adapted
- 3 pounds ripe plum tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons good olive oil
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups chopped yellow onions (2 onions)
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 (28-ounce) can plum tomatoes, with their juice
4 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1-quart chicken stock or water
Preheat the oven to 400º. Toss together the tomatoes, 1/4 cup olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread the tomatoes in 1 layer on a baking sheet and roast for about 45 minutes.
In a large stockpot over medium heat, sauté the onions and garlic with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the butter, and red pepper flakes for 10 minutes, until the onions start to brown. Add the canned tomatoes, basil, thyme, and chicken stock. Add the oven-roasted tomatoes, including the liquid on the baking sheet. Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for 40 minutes. Pass through a food mill fitted with the coarsest blade. Season to taste and Ina suggests that you can serve this hot or cold…