Friday, August 28, 2009

A Hearty Tomato Soup

We're diehard soup lovers here in our house and what better way to use some of the most abundant vegetables of this time of year than in a hearty soup, and in doing so honor the bounty of the harvests that occur between Lammas and Mabon? And as the evenings grow cooler, a hot bowl of soup and a thick slab of bread not only feeds the tummy, but the soul as well.

Delicious Tomato Soup makes 4-6 good size servings

2 28 or 35 ounce cans of organic whole peeled tomatoes
a couple of fresh ripe tomatoes, cut into wedges (optional)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 medium carrots, finely diced
2 small onions, halved and thinly sliced
2 quarts (8 cups) water or stock
1/2 cup chopped organic parsley
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Heat oven to 375f degrees. Drain tomatoes and reserve the liquid. Halve canned ones and put those and the fresh (if using them) in a roasting pan. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of the olive oil, toss, add the thyme and roast. Turning them once or twice, roast for about 30 minutes. If they begin to dry out or stick, add a bit of the tomato liquid as needed.

Put the remaining olive oil in a deep skillet or medium saucepan over medium high heat. Add the garlic and cook just until it begins to color, in a minute or so. Add the carrots and onions and cook, sprinkling with the salt and pepper, stirring for about five minutes. Stir in the stock or water, along with the contents of the roasting pan and the reserved tomato juice.

Turn the heat to high and bring the soup to a boil, then lower the heat so it bubbles gently. Cover and cook until the vegetables are very tender, about 20 to 30 minutes. Garnish with the parsley and serve.

This is an amazingly vivid-colored soup, vibrant with the reds, golds and oranges of autumn and Mabon and it tastes delicious. Serve it with a loaf of buttery rich homemade corn bread and you have a simple, yet perfect, meal for this time of year. Enjoy and rejoice in the impending arrival of the Great Harvest and the autumnal equinox.

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