Home > Vegetarian > Vines, Vines, Everywhere There’s Vines (my apologies to Tesla and the lesser known The Five Man Electrical Band)

Vines, Vines, Everywhere There’s Vines (my apologies to Tesla and the lesser known The Five Man Electrical Band)

IMG_1671It’s the tail end of tomato season in Illinois and we are surrounded by tomato vines.  My kitchen counter has been overtaken by five different varieties.  Dave and I have made numerous bowls of salsa, bruschetta, oven roasted tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato pesto, ketchup,  stewed tomatoes and over 20 pints of pasta sauce.    I have put a tomato on anything that can physically hold a tomato – sandwiches, grilled cheese, pasta, salads, Caprese salads, BLTs, kabobs…okay I am exhausted.  But why is the tomato the one garden beauty that everyone gets excited about come spring, but by this time of the year, you can’t even give them away?  Tomato burn-out.  At this point I just want to make recipes that will use up massive amounts of tomatoes so I can be done.   So as I lament about the lack of counter space that the buggers are using up, I think ahh…Tomato Soup.

The best recipe I have come across for tomato soup is one that has some extra little fixin’s, that give it that needed edge.  Applewood bacon, Gruerye cheese and chives  make this soup stand out and up the wow factor.  I have made it before with swiss cheese and regular bacon and it turns out just fine. 

Tomato Soup
6 bacon slices, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 -3 pounds tomatoes, cored and chopped into quarters
2/3 cup whipping cream
1/3 cup water

1/3 cup gruyere or swiss cheese
3 Tbs. chopped chives

Saute bacon in large pot until crisp.  Transfer half of bacon to paper towels to drain.  Add onion and pepper to bacon that is left in the pot and saute until soft, about 5 minutes.  Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes.  Add tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes are tender, about 7-9 minutes.  Add cream and water and simmer on low heat for around 10 minutes.  Working in batches, puree soup in blender.  Season with salt and pepper and garnish with reserved bacon, cheese and chives.  Makes around 6 servings.  IMG_1748_edited

The first time I made this recipe I learned a very valuable lesson in cooking, specifically with a blender.  Just as a point of reference, that the recipe did not point out, is that when putting hot liquids in a blender, only fill up the blender half-way.  I have white cabinets in my kitchen that go all the way up to my nine-foot ceilings.   Cleaning tomato soup off cabinets while on a step-ladder is not my idea of cleaning up the kitchen when you are done cooking.   Also, using a pot holder to press down the top lid is a helpful tidbit as well, just in case the lid should happen to shoot out the top.

So while I will make salsa and bruschetta for parties this weekend, I am glad to say I am done cooking with my tomatoes.  And I know, yes come winter and spring I will be killing to eat a garden fresh tomato, for now I am done.  Good night Brandywine, see ya Early Girl, Bye -Bye Beefsteak.

  1. Jeannine
    September 18, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    Karen, have you ever tried an immersion blender? I love mine. It is great for pureeing soups especially. It is a little hand held guy that you lover into the pot of soup directly and makes short work of potato soup, tomato soup, squash soup…you get the idea.

    • Jeannine
      September 18, 2009 at 2:09 pm

      Of course you “lower” the blender into the soup…not “lover”. Oops.

    • karenrocks
      September 18, 2009 at 3:57 pm

      Jeannine, I have not tried one, although I have been tempted at times to have one. Maybe Santa will bring me one this year, although I need to ask him for a larger food processor, as my little cuisinart is not cutting it anymore. Literally.

  2. Kris Z.
    September 18, 2009 at 9:06 pm

    Congrats on your tomatoes! I had plenty, but they were not nearly as nice as last year.

    Your soup sounds yummy! How do you think it would taste without the bacon?

    Oh, and I agree with Jeannine about the immersion blender!

    • karenrocks
      September 19, 2009 at 7:16 am

      Kris, I think the soup would taste fine, but might be slightly more bland. I have made this before using only 1-2 strips of bacon and it still turned out well. I’m sure you could jazz it up with just more fixins or add some fresh basil. Herbs make everything better! Thanks for reading!

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