While we’re giving thanks this week for the blessings and bounty in our lives, please remember those less fortunate. Food insecurity is a serious problem in this country (along with food waste, grocery deserts and lack of nutritional education).
I encourage you to forgo the American preoccupation with finding the perfect, unblemished apple and focus on “it’s all perfectly good food.” I’ve mentioned in the past how I think a paring knife and some patience can revive most imperfect fruits and vegetables and when I saw the trailer for “Just Eat It”, a documentary that tackles the issue of food waste, I’m even more convinced how important this concept is to our culinary and food communities.
Many grocery stores and outdoor food markets will sell “day-of” or “ripe” produce. More often than not, this is produce that cannot be sold in-store because it’s slightly imperfect (think soft avocados and lightly bruised fruit).
In addition to the abundance of this produce, it’s often sold at a major discount. Good for your conscious and good for your wallet.
Today, I’m sharing a simple Roasted Tomato Dill soup recipe that specifically uses 4lbs of bruised tomatoes. Gorgeous, juicy extra-large tomatoes…that I bought for $2, because each one had a small bruise and were softer than “salad-ready” would deem.
Let’s make the hunger issue not an issue, OK?
Roasted Tomato Dill Soup (Vegan)
Time: 1.5 hours ~ Makes: 2 quarts
5 extra large (4lbs), slightly bruised, smushy tomatoes
4 garlic cloves, peeled, sliced
4 tbs olive oil
1 large yellow onion, peeled and sliced
4-5 cups vegetable broth
2 tbs dried dill
1 bay leaf
1 can (14.5oz) chick peas
1/2 c. almond milk*
Sea Salt & Black Pepper to Taste
*You can use 1/4c. heavy cream if you prefer a richer soup.
The soup will now be vegetarian, but not vegan.
Pre-heat oven to 350.
Wash and pat-dry tomatoes. Trim away bruised bits and stems.
Slice evenly and line in a single layer on a cookie sheet (I needed to use two cookie sheets for 4lbs of tomatoes). Sprinkle on the sliced garlic. Drizzle sheets with 2 tbs olive oil and salt and pepper. Roast for 45 minutes or until tomatoes are roasty and gorgeous (p.s. Your house? Will smell incredible). Remove from oven, set aside.
Heat remaining olive oil in a deep saucepan and saute onions. After about 5-7 minutes, onions should soft and golden (if they stick to the pan, deglaze with some of the vegetable broth). Add tomatoes/garlic from cookie sheets and toss together with sauteed onions. Slowly add vegetable broth, add bay leaf and dill. Allow soup to simmer together for another 15 minutes. Remove bay leaf, add chick peas. Using an immersion blender, blend soup to desired consistency (or blend by batches in a blender, allowing room for soup to expand). Remove soup from heat, and slowly add milk or cream. Season with salt/pepper to taste. Top with nutritional yeast, avocado or dill. Makes 2 quarts.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!