Tomatoes and Apples, oh my!
This time of year I am admiring my tomatoes still ready to be picked and anticipating my trip to the apple orchard. These two fresh local ingredients truly make delicious recipes and showcase what the season has to offer. Tomatoes of all sorts are still available that are grown locally. I brought some of my heirloom green and yellow teardrops to my cooking class last evening to create a simple tomato salad drizzled with lemon oil and a pinch of salt. Perfect to enjoy with a simple pizza slice. Sliced thick and added to a sandwich is another favourite or chopping them coarsely and cooking them with some garlic and oil for a quick pasta sauce. With the cooler weather upon us, I thought a soup would be a perfect addition to use up those tomatoes. And not to worry, keep this recipe to enjoy later in the year with canned as well. You will be delighted by the herb essence and easy of making your own tomato soup. I like mine with a little sprinkle of freshly grated Parmesan cheese to finish it off.
Homemade Tomato Soup
Fresh juicy in season tomatoes can make a wonderful pot of a family favourite-tomato soup. Enjoy the soup as a starter or alongside or favourite sandwich for lunch.
2 tsp (10 mL) canola oil
2 shallots, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp (5 mL) chopped fresh rosemary or 1/4 tsp/1 mL dried
1 tsp (5 mL) chopped fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp/2 mL dried
3 cups (750 mL) chopped fresh ripe plum tomatoes
2 cups (500 mL) sodium reduced vegetable or chicken broth
1 cup (250 mL) water
1 tbsp (15 mL) all purpose flour
1/2 cup (125 mL) 1% milk
In saucepan heat oil over medium heat and cook shallots, garlic, rosemary and thyme for about 3 minutes or until softened. Add tomatoes and cook, stirring for about 5 minutes or until juices start to appear.
Using potato masher crush tomatoes. Add stock and water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
Pour into blender and puree until smooth. Return to clean saucepan. Whisk flour and pepper into milk. Stir into soup and bring to a simmer for 5 minutes or until thickened slightly.
Makes 4 servings.
Canned Tomato Variation: Substitute 1 can (28 oz/796 mL) diced tomatoes for the fresh.
I’ve been enjoying fresh Ontario apples already and can’t wait to take my family to the orchard to go picking! If you have not done it I truly recommend going and taking in the amazing colours and aromas that are at an apple orchard. You can smell warm cider, baked apple pies and other baked treats along with biting into a crisp apple with juice dripping down your chin, there is truly no other experience like it. We pick lots of apples to make a family favourite apple pie using my husband’s grandmother’s pastry recipe and stack them in the freezer to enjoy throughout the year. I also enjoy cooking with apples and making applesauce or adding them to other baked goods like this hearty apple raisin bread. So moist and tasty, a perfect snack to pack in a lunch. Pop it in the microwave for a special warm treat with a glass of cider to the added hit of applelicious goodness!
Apple Raisin Bread
This bread is great sliced fresh for an afternoon snack Store this bread wrapped with plastic wrap and foil in the refrigerator to lengthen its storage. This loaf also freezes well for up to 1 month.
1/2 cup (125 mL) natural bran
2 tsp (10 mL) ground cinnamon
1 tsp (5 mL) baking powder
1/2 tsp (2 mL) baking soda
1/4 tsp (1 mL) ground nutmeg
2 apples, cored and diced
1/3 cup (75 mL) raisins
2 tbsp (25 mL) chopped pecans or almonds (optional)
1 cup (250 mL) buttermilk
1/3 cup (75 mL) granulated sugar
3 tbsp (45 mL) canola oil
In large bowl, combine flour, bran, cinnamon, baking powder, soda and nutmeg. Toss in apples, raisins and pecans, if using to coat with flour.
In another bowl, whisk together buttermilk, eggs, sugar and oil. Pour over flour mixture and stir to combine until moistened. Pour batter into 9 x 5 inch (2 L) greased loaf pan.
Bake in 350 F (180 C) oven for about 45 minutes or until golden and tester inserted in centre comes out clean. Let cool on rack
Makes 1 loaf, or 12 slices.