The first footsteps crush grass under foot and the evening air draws the heat of the day from the bitumen.
We reach the midway point sweating in the still summer night as we turn for home.
Laughing and tumbling into the house and filling the rooms with noise, and humour, and love.
Into the kitchen, inspiration strikes when I see the gift of freshly plucked tomatoes sitting on the bench and see my herb garden in the fading light outside my window.
Slicing open plump red fruit flesh. Feeling the cooling ground beneath my feet as I venture out to gather from my garden.
The first waves of heat hit the tiny branches of thyme and send the rainy earthen smell wafting throughout the house.
Tomatoes nestled together like lovers whispering secrets begin to blister and melt, weeping sweet nectar until they bubble contentedly.
They will stay there while I refresh myself. My run swept away the stresses of the day; the walk slowed my pulse and brought me deeper peace. I am ready to nourish myself with gifts from my neighbour’s labour and my own earth.
Roughly blended and poured still steaming into my bowl. Sprinkled with crisp spring onions and creamy sharp cheddar, the trifecta of colours and a testament to salty, crispy, and creamy.
A thoroughly nourished body: sweaty run and roasted soup.
A thoroughly nourished soul: time to walk with my Mama.
The beginning of summer.
Roasted Tomato Thyme Soup
I used very ripe heirloom variety tomatoes that had been gifted to me, but I believe that you could use any type of tomato as the roasting time will draw out the sweetness and juice. The riper and more flavoursome your tomatoes though, the more richly bodied your soup will be. If you are vegan, simply leave the cheddar off the top.
Be very careful when blending this soup. DO NOT use a blender as hot liquids expand and you may burn yourself very badly. If you wish to use a blender, cool the roasted mixture completely, blend, and then reheat.
Serves 2 -4
- 2 kilograms tomatoes (about 8-10 large tomatoes)
- 2 medium purple onions
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 8 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 spring onion, chopped
- 1/4 cup crumbled vintage cheddar (I am in love with Maleny Dairies – my local)
- Preheat your oven to 200°C (390°F). Line a deep-sided baking tin with baking paper (or aluminium foil) and set aside.
- Roughly quarter tomatoes and slide into the baking tin. Peel and quarter onions and add to the baking dish. Peel garlic and tuck the cloves under the tomatoes so that they will melt into the stewing tomatoes rather than crisp.
- Sprinkle the tomato, onion, and garlic mosaic with thyme, oregano, salt and pepper. Drizzle olive oil over the top.
- Bake for 45 minutes to an hour. The longer you leave this in the oven the further it will reduce and concentrate.
- Remove baked tomatoes from the oven. Pour into a large bowl (very large) and use a stick blender to roughly blend the mixture. Be very careful.
- Divide among bowls and top with spring onion and cheese.
This soup reheats wonderfully and I think it tastes even better on the second day.
My dear readers, do you grow any of your own vegetables? Do your neighbours?
What is your favourite seasonal summer fruit or vegetable?