A novel way to enjoy tomatoes
- June 2nd, 2015
- in Yachting
From Sea Level – Roasted San Marzano Tomato Soup
Wine pairing courtesy of Caribbean Cellars
Competing for my love of food is my love of words.
There are some words out there, much like foods, that tend to be innately loved, and others that require time and experience to appreciate.
For me, one of those foods – the kind I definitely did not appreciate – was the humble tomato. I grew up well into my twenties thinking they were bitter and odd in texture. Then, I met Captain Ernie, who (as I’m sure you know) is my husband. Ernie has a deep love for tomatoes, and opened my eyes to the great, big, multi-coloured world of the many delicious varieties.
Provisioning is my favourite part of the week – the possibilities are endless. One of my favourite finds is a variety of tomatoes – Campari, Kumato, Cherry, Grape…yellow, brown, purple, red…and then there are San Marzanos. Oblong in shape, they are firm, juicy, sweet, and aromatic. These are my preferred tomatoes to use to make my homemade tomato soup.
Back to my love of words. One evening, I had decided to make my Roasted San Marzano Tomato Soup for a charter of four couples, all celebrating their 70th birthdays. The soup was served as our first course and as I was plating the entrée, our stewardess came in and said the guests wanted to speak with me. A particularly boisterous, theatrical gentleman said very calmly, “That soup was ambrosia.”
Here’s where it all comes together: on one of my refrigerators I have a collection of random words that I’ve learned and fell in love with. One of them is ‘ambrosia’ – in ancient Greek mythology, this word is defined as the food or drink of the Greek Gods. There couldn’t be a better compliment.
Roasted San Marzano Tomato Soup
4 cloves garlic, smashed and pressed
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 cups fresh San Marzano Tomatoes
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper
6 cups fresh beef broth
Fresh-cracked black pepper
Preheat oven to 400ºF. In a large mixing bowl, toss together garlic, onion, tomatoes, olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, and a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Spread out evenly on a baking sheet and bake until tomatoes are bursting open, stirring mixture occasionally.
In a large saucepan, heat beef broth. Transfer roasted tomatoes to broth and let cook at simmer for 20 minutes. Deglaze the baking sheet with a splash of water to keep all the good flavours. Add in a handful of fresh basil and puree soup with immersion blender. Salt and pepper to taste.
Ladle hot (or chilled) soup into your bowl of choice, garnishing with fresh basil and fresh-cracked black pepper.
I highly recommend serving alongside a fresh-baked loaf of ciabatta bread.
To go with this rich and delicious soup we’ve picked a vibrant and generous Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast in California. La Crema have been crafting fabulous Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in this area since the end of the seventies and their latest vintage is no exception. Elizabeth Grant-Douglas, the Winemaker selected Pinot Noir grapes from vineyards all lying within 30 miles of the cooling influence of the Pacific Ocean, carefully making them into wine which matures for just over 6 months in French oak barrels before bottling. She describes her wine as “a well-balanced Sonoma Coast blend. Fine tannins and good concentration create a broad, supple mouthfeel that lingers well.” We like to put the bottle on ice or in the fridge for 10 minutes before opening and we’re sure you will be back for a second glass.