This morning I smacked the snooze button on my alarm and snuggled under the blankets for a few extra minutes. It’s the first morning where I felt like it was going to be cold when I took off that blanket. It was, thanks to the rain that fell last night and there is more planned for today. I pulled on a pair of cozy socks and sweatpants, my favorite winter gear, and checked the thermostat. Four degrees colder than usual.
My garden is feeling the chill too. There are fewer tomatoes growing and those that do grow are much smaller than their summertime brothers. The zucchini stopped producing a couple of weeks ago and everything else was eaten by the chickens. Including all the bugs that ever plagued my garden. Seriously, I had chicken damage, but no bug damage to speak of, not a single aphid.
Speaking of the chickens. We decided it was best to find them a new home before we move. Many factors came into play in making this decision and we were sad to see them go. We did find them a wonderful new home. A coworker introduced us to his friend Lisa. Lisa owns a farm near Santa Cruz and has been looking for a rooster and a couple of hens to add to her flock. I knew that our babies would be okay when she told me that her current hens are TWELVE YEARS OLD! Can you believe that! I like to imagine Darwin happily commanding his own flock of hens until he is an old cranky rooster. I think he might get there with Lisa.
Despite the large amount of tomatoes the chickens ate, we had a good year. Currently I have harvested 79 pounds of veggies! That means I am 11 pounds away from beating last years total of 90 pounds!
What have I done with it all? It’s mostly frozen as whole peeled tomatoes, but we also made Pasta Sauce and this wonderful Roasted Tomato Soup. Forget about canned tomato soup. That stuff is awful. It shouldn’t be allowed to mar the wonderfully rich taste of homemade tomato soup. Plus it’s so simple to make your own. It takes just a handful of ingredients, but is creamy, spicy and bursting with incredible flavor.
Roasted Garden Tomato Soup
Makes 2 large bowls for lunch
- 2 lbs of ripe heirloom tomatoes, the best quality you can afford
- 4 cloves garlic
- salt & pepper
- rosemary & oregano, a couple teaspoons of each
- olive oil
- 1-2 cups of chicken broth
1. Slice tomatoes into quarters and spread on a baking sheet. Take the skins off the garlic and toss on baking sheet. No need to chop it up.
2. Drizzle everything with olive oil, and sprinkle with herbs, salt and pepper. Roast in the center of the oven at 400 F for about 20-30 minutes depending on how thick your slices are. When the tomatoes are wrinkled and the edges of the pan are starting to blacken a little then they are done.
3. When done scrape everything into a food processor and blend until smooth. Pour into a saucepan and add between 1-2 cups of chicken broth, depending on how thin you want your soup, and simmer for 15 minutes to meld the flavors.
Garnish with Gruyère cheese and yogurt or a spoonful of cream for extra decadence.
(Click on recipe card to save and print. It is designed to be printed on 5×7 photo paper and stuck in a card file, on the fridge or given to a friend.)