You might be wondering why in the world I am blogging about heirloom tomatoes in the middle of winter. While most of you are covered in snow and wearing layer upon layer of clothing, it is tomato season here in Florida. Yes, and it is beautiful. It is the season of tomatoes, strawberries, zucchini, peppers… all the things that most of you enjoy during the summer we have them now.
On Sundays, we get up early, get a quick bite to eat and we load up the kids in the car to go to our local farmers market. It is what we used to do on Sundays when we were kids and I love having that tradition with my own family now.
The last couple of weeks, the tomatoes at one of my favorites farm stands have been beautiful and we have been eating them in salads about every single day. I just like to slice them and toss them in a little bit of olive oil, sea salt and maybe a squeeze of lemon juice or a drizzle of balsamic. So sweet and buttery. Yes, buttery tomatoes. Do you know what I mean? Such a soft and creamy texture.
Everyday, when J. comes home from school, he requests the same thing. Soup and sandwich. He is a boy with habits and his soup and sandwich lunch is one of them. So everyday, I try to come up with new ways to incorporate vegetables in his soup. He does not like raw tomatoes, but he loves his tomato soup. Go figure.
Last week, I made this green heirloom tomato and celery root soup for him and he loved it. The green tomatoes can be a bit acidic so they are balanced out with the sweetness of the carrot and a pinch of sugar. The celery root along with the potato makes this soup creamy as well. I loved the cherry tomato confit and the fried celeriac on top. All finished with some celery salt. Loved it.
Green Heirloom Tomato and Celeriac Soup
2 Tbs olive oil
1/2 leek, washed and chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
2 medium green tomatoes, blanched, peeled, seeded and diced
1 medium celery root, peeled and diced
1 large russet potato, peeled and diced
1 Tbs fresh thyme
Salt and pepper, to taste
Pinch of sugar
2 cups chicken stock (just enough to cover the vegetables)
cherry tomato confit
celery root fried in olive oil
To blanch the tomatoes, bring water to a boil. Score the end of the tomatoes with a paring knife. Submerge the tomatoes in the boiling water for about 15 seconds. Strain the water and shock them in ice. The skin will peel right off.
In a medium pot, saute the leek, garlic and carrots in olive oil for a couple of minutes. Add the diced tomato, celery root, potato, salt, pepper, thyme. Saute for a minute and add the chicken stock, enough to cover the vegetables. Cook for about 20 minutes until all vegetables are tender.
Puree the soup and adjust the salt, pepper and sugar as needed. Depending on the acidity of the tomatoes, the seasoning will vary.
Garnish with cherry tomato confit, celery root fries, celery salt and fresh thyme leaves.
Cherry Tomato Confit
1 pint of cherry tomatoes
Cut the tops off. Score the bottom of the tomato. Blanch them in boiling water for about 10 seconds and immediately shock them in ice. Peel the skin.
Cut the tomatoes in half and place them cut side up on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle salt, pepper and fresh thyme on top.
Bake at 225F for about 2-2 1/2 hours until half way dry. Store them in a jar covered with olive oil.