Sometimes a recipe is so simple and easy it's almost embarassing to share. Almost, but not quite. Because sometimes those very easy recipes are extra delicious and become family staples. Like my easy peasy homemade chocolate syrup.
Lately tomatoes haven't been so cheap around here. In fact, none of the vegetables seem to be decently priced but tomatoes are the most outrageous. Fortunately, my grocery store has a reduced rack, where I am able to get past prime veggies for a fraction of the price, and tomatoes are one of those vegetables I am able to always find at reduced prices. I've also gotten my hands on a lot of free past prime tomatoes for free lately.
The thing about past prime veggies is that they're past prime. Less than ideal for eating fresh. Not exactly what you want to be using in a fresh salad, as they can be limp and less appetizing. Blending it up and serving it as gazpacho is one of my solutions to this, but I'll admit, I'd rather not do it with certain types of tomatoes. Those ones that are really past prime. I'm talking about the ones that aren't just soft, but, you know, have rotten parts that need to be cut out... or had a little mold growing on the outside that you were able to cut or wash off... For the most part, I'm ok with eating veggies like that, as long as I'm able to clean that tomato off very well and nothing fishy looking or smelling remains, but I'd still rather not eat produce at that stage of "past prime-ness" raw. I cook that produce before eating, both to pasteurize it in case there is potentially any bad microbes still there, and because if I don't, the dish that I make with that will be spoiled very, very quickly- cooking gives them a new lease at life.
This roasted tomato soup is one of those things I like to do with past prime tomatoes. Its very easy to make, has only a few ingredients, yet its taste is very rich and delicious. It's also cheap, naturally allergy friendly, and special diet friendly (paleo, vegan, vegetarian, low carb, low fat).
Approximately 15 medium/large tomatoes, or one large cookie tray filled with medium, large, or plum tomatoes
1 head garlic
1 teaspoon-1 tablespoon salt
Freshly ground or regular pepper (to taste)
Up to 1 tablespoon fresh basil or up to 2 teaspoons dried basil (optional)
Sweetener to taste (not necessary if using past prime tomatoes, but may be added if using tarter, less ripe tomatoes)
To garnish- pumpkin seeds, croutons, or your favorite crunchy soup toppings, and/or fresh basil leaves
1. Wash tomatoes and cut out any bad parts. No need to cut out the green part of the tomato where it attaches to the stem.
2. Take a whole head of garlic and slice off the base.
3. Place the tomatoes on one baking tray, and the garlic on another.
4. Roast at 400 degrees until the tomatoes are somewhat browned on top, approximately 30 minutes.
5. Place tomatoes and the juice on the tray into a pot. Squeeze the garlic out of its paper into the tomatoes.
6. Blend it all with a blender stick until smooth. (Alternatively use a blender.)
7. Add salt, pepper, basil, and sweetener to taste.
8. Garnish and serve hot.
What do you do with past prime veggies? Do you use them or toss them? What is your rule for "really past prime" veggies?
Are you a tomato fan? Ever have roasted tomato soup? Do you think you'd try out this recipe?