Our 5 burner stove has been going full tilt the past few days as we dedicated kitchen time to preparing hearty cold weather dishes in bulk. Working at break neck speed, the possibility for an 'oops' was high.
In my haste, I accidentally opened a jar of my home-canned tomato juice instead of sauce. At first I felt frustration, knowing it now needed to be refrigerated and used within days. But as we say often around here, sometimes a problem is really disguised as an opportunity.
The corner of the counter was loaded with well-ripened tomatoes from the garden - Yellow Perfection and San Marzano (seedling plants came from Vicki's Veggies in PEC). Reviewing the remainder of our Roots and Shoots Farm's CSA food baskets, I found month-old colourful carrots needing a purpose. Thankfully, still in great shape.
The flavour combination of carrots and tomatoes is undisputed. At least in this house. As I added up all my 'problems', the opportunity presented itself as roasted carrot and tomato soup.
I have written out the recipe as it was executed today. But you should not feel bridled to the ingredient list or the method. It is not meant to be prescriptive but more of a suggestion of what works well together and how you could go about it.
If you can't find time to roast the vegetables, don't. If you have more tomatoes than carrots, go for it. If you want to throw in some basil, do. If you have vegetable stock instead, it may actually taste better than chicken. No coloured carrots, stick to orange. No kale chips in sight, skip it. Dying to toss in a sprinkle of Parmesan, I say "why not". You get the idea. That's the nice thing about soup. It's not souffle.
Roasted Carrot and Tomato Soup
Yields: 6 one-cup servings
6 small purple carrots
2 small yellow carrots
3 small orange carrots
2 cloves garlic
6 yellow perfection tomatoes
5 San Marzano tomatoes
extra virgin olive oil
freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons butter
1 onion, diced
2 small stalks celery, chopped, with leaves if healthy
handful of kale chips
2 cups tomato juice
2 cups chicken stock, use vegetable stock as an alternate
pea shoots or chives
dollop of sour cream or plain yogurt, optional
Preheat oven to 425ºF. Cut carrots and tomatoes lengthwise and lay out on a baking sheet. Cut one onion into 6 wedges. Place onion wedges and unpeeled garlic cloves onto the baking sheet. Drizzle vegetables with olive oil. Then season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Roast the vegetables for 30 - to 40 minutes until they start to caramelize. Do not over roast.
Melt butter into a saucepan. Sauté the diced onion and chopped celery until translucent. Season with salt.
Add roasted vegetables to the saucepan. Add the tomato juice and stock. Add the kale chips if you are using them.
Simmer for 10 minutes to combine the flavours.
Blend in a VitaMix or a blender until very smooth. Thin with more stock if necessary to get the preferred consistency. (I do not like my soup to be super thick.) Heat the soup through again. Taste and season.
|[Colour carrots from Roots and Shoots Farm]
|[Garlic from Roots and Shoots Farm]
|[Vegetables will be roasted at 425ºF for 30 minutes.]
|[Delicious with a rustic bread]