Is your garden overflowing with tomatoes? Yes, you say. Am a bit jealous. Some day I will have an amazing garden (just need a small plot of land to call my own).
Looking for something to do with all those beautiful tomatoes from your garden and/or farmers’ market? How about a simple and exceptionally tasty tomato soup?
When you think tomato soup, a classic red tomato soup probably comes to mind; hopefully, not the kind that comes in a can with the red and white label :-). This soup uses yellow-orange tomatoes, which are sublime. They’re mild, sweet, and have very low acidity. This translates into a light, delicate, sweet soup that just screams summer. Refreshing and delightful!
The addition of a seared sea scallop in the center of each bowl (or a little crab meat or sweet rock shrimp) elevates the soup to another level. Or, just enjoy this elegant looking soup on its own, garnished solely with a few chives.
Yellow Tomato Soup with Seared Scallops
Inspired by Cooking Demo [Chef Brown], Dupont Farmers’ Market
Serves 4 to 6
6 to 8 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, minced
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
6 large yellow-orange tomatoes (~3 pounds), cored and quartered
1 quart vegetable broth
4 whole leaves of basil
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
4 to 6 sea scallops (optional)
Chives, for garnish
In a large soup pot, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until the onion is translucent. Stir in the tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes. Pour in the vegetable broth and add the basil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Simmer for ten minutes, and then puree in a blender, adding a couple tablespoons olive oil until the soup is smooth. Taste, adding more salt if needed.
Pat the scallops dry with a paper towel. Season with salt and pepper. In a hot sauté pan, add just enough oil to coat the pan. Sauté the scallops, searing until the tops and bottoms are golden brown, about 1 1/2 minutes per side.
Pour the warm soup into individual bowls, put a sea scallop in the middle of each bowl and garnish with chives. Serve immediately.
A cool and refreshing sparkling drink hits the spot on a hot summer’s day…
Lemon verbena, have you used it? It’s a perennial herb with, well, a herbaceous, lemony flavor. You can infuse its leaves to extract its lemoniness. I made a lemon verbena-mint simple syrup [with honey in lieu of cane sugar]. Mix with sparkling/soda water and you have your very own homemade soda, which you can make as sweet as you like. I like mine with just a hint of sweetness.
Lemon Verbena-Mint Soda Water
1/4 cup honey
1/4 mineral water
10-12 large lemon verbena leaves + extra for garnish
5 large mint leaves + extra for garnish
Sparkling or soda water
To make the simple syrup, combine the honey and mineral water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, add the lemon verbena and mint leaves. Remove from the heat and steep for 15 to 20 minutes. Strain the leaves.
Fill each glass with ice. Divide the syrup among the glasses, top with soda water and stir. Taste and add more syrup or soda if desired. Garnish with a slice of lemon and fresh herbs.