|There's nothing sweeter than a tomato left to ripen|
fully before being harvested & brought to market.
There is something truly wondrous about the fall harvest.
|There are many varieties of cherry tomatoes available|
at the market at this time of year, like these from
There's nothing I like more than sampling the abundance and variety of tomatoes that are available at a local farmers' market at this time of year. I have a soft spot for colour, variety and beauty... and tomatoes have it all.
|Chocolate cherry tomatoes turn brown when ripe|
The heirloom varieties of tomatoes hold endless fascination for me. They come in such a wide assortment of colours, from reds and browns and oranges through to pinks and strange looking ones with lines, blotches and bizarre shapes. There are the fun stripes of a green & red zebra tomato, the incredible sweetness and brilliant hue of a bright yellow golden boy and the wonderful texture and juiciness of a chocolate cherry tomato. And they rarely have a predictably uniform size, and some don't even have a predictable shape.
|Dargatz Family Farm has a wealth of tomato varieties...|
Just look at all the cherry tomato types they have!
TR Greenhouses and Dargatz Family Farm have an assortment of cherry tomatoes in a rainbow of colours. Holden Colony has both field ripened and greenhouse grown tomato varieties. And Riverbend Gardens started bringing their field tomatoes to market last week for the first time.
|Raw ingredients for a fantastic soup|
Roasted heirloom tomato soup
Heirloom tomatoes come in many shapes, sizes, textures, colours and flavours. Making this soup is a great excuse to experiment and buy a whole assortment. Their textures vary widely and it can be a lot of fun trying all the different kinds. You can also top this soup with a sprig of the herb of your choice… parley, basil, thyme or oregano. You'll be surprised how thick, creamy, hearty & satisfying this soup can be without the addition of cream, yogurt, grains or lentils.
|I used chocolate cherry tomatoes in this batch |
exclusively, which is why it has such a strange colour.
But the flavour was incredible! Sweet & incredibly intense!
2 lbs. assorted heirloom tomatoes, halved
1 onion, quartered
2 T. olive oil
10 fresh basil leaves
3 fresh sage leaves
1 sprig fresh oregano, leaves only
3 mild green jalepeños
1-2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 T. balsamic vinegar
1/2 t. salt
pepper to taste
1/3 c. freshly grated parmesan as a garnish
|Big Uglies, an heirloom variety, at TR Greenhouses' stall|
- Preheat your oven to 375F. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Toss the tomatoes & onions with the olive oil and spread out in a single layer on the baking sheet. Roast until slightly browned, about 45 minutes.
- Add the basil, sage, oregano and jalepenos to the tomato mixture. Purée until smooth either in a food processor or blender, or in a stock pot with an immersion blender (my choice, making clean up swift and easy!).
- Place the tomato mixture in a stock pot, and add enough stock to give it a soupy consistency. The amount of stock used will change from batch to batch depending on the texture and juciness of the tomato varieties that you use.
- Bring the soup to a simmer over medium heat. Add the balsamic vinegar, and the salt and pepper to taste.
- Ladle up a bowl of soup and garnish with a dusting of parmesan cheese & a sprig of your favourite fresh herb. Mmmmm.
|Beefsteak Heirloom Tomatoes |
from TR Greenhouses
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Contributed by Sheri Hendsbee