I am currently in the process of making a HUGE mess in our kitchen. The reason...tomatoes. Yes, we have gotten our yearly flood of the round, red things and I am trying to figure out what to do with them all. To date, I have made two batches of salsa, each containing around 60 tomatoes, and we have given away bags of the things. So, what to do with the current crop?
My wife and I sat down and tried to come up with a plan. I suggested that we can the
remaining 100 or so, but she had a better idea: why not make a soup? So, with this plan in hand, I am currently making a Roasted Tomato and Garlic Soup. My plan is to make a huge batch of the stuff and then store it in the freezer for later consumption. (A fancy way of saying we will eat the stuff...preferably with a grilled cheese sandwich).
Now, I am roasting, in batches, the tomatoes, garlic, onions, and carrots in the oven. This process alone has taken over 4 hours. It takes about 40-45 minutes per batch at 4250. As the veggies and tomatoes come out of the oven, I place them in a large stock pot, to which I have added tomato paste, bay leaves (Turkish), salt, pepper, and Italian Seasoning. I wanted to add basil, but naturally I don't have any.
I have set the pots to boil and, after simmering for 1 hour, they are now cooling down. During this process, I re-seasoned it with a bit more of everything and also added some brown sugar and granulated sugar. I must say that the flavor is spot-on. Once cooled, I will process the soup in a blender and run it through a food mill. From there it will be into jars and a quick trip to the freezer.
After 9 hours, I have finally finished. I got a little over 10 quarts of Tomato soup. When I heat-up a serving, I like to add a touch of cream to the soup; it makes it taste much richer (and you wonder why I'm on a diet). Now, for the grilled cheese.