When I think of the weather cooling off as we bid adieu to summer, the first thing I think of is a nice bowl of steaming hot soup.
Sure you can have soup in the summer (I’ve even read that eating a bowl of hot soup can cool you off in the hot summer months), but it’s quite comforting to sit down at the end of the day to a dish that will warm your tummy and soothe your soul (whoa…that’s a big statement to make, huh?).
But, the weather hasn’t been that bad yet – the sun is actually shining as we speak – and it’s always hard for me to let go of summer.
So why not combine the two seasons? Taking a sandwich that always reminds me of the middle of summer (probably because of the reddest, ripest tomatoes we use to make it), I thought I would make a soup that screams BLT…just taken apart in a bunch of different pieces!
Roasted tomatoes, onions and garlic are partnered with crostini that are slathered with goat cheese, dressed arugula and topped with a roasted tomato and a rasher of bacon.
It’s love in a bowl if you ask me!
1/2 pkg bacon
3-4 pounds of tomatoes (about 6-8 medium tomatoes) *
1-2 red onions, chopped
6-8 cloves of garlic
2-3 tbsp of balsamic glaze (or use balsamic vinegar and a tsp of brown sugar if you don’t have glaze)
6-8 c chicken or vegetable stock
extra virgin olive oil
arugula (or romaine)
*this is a good recipe to make when your tomatoes may not be perfectly ripe because roasting them brings out their natural sugars and intensifies their flavour
1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Place your strips of bacon flat on a cookie sheet and cook in the oven until browned and crispy; remove the bacon and set aside (drain all of the oil except for approx 2 tbsp).
2. Throw the tomatoes, onions and garlic in the pan and toss to coat in the bacon drippings; roast for about 20 minutes or until caramelized.
3. Remove from the oven and drizzle with the balsamic (do this when the tomatoes are hot and it will absorb all the lovely flavour).
4. Scrape all of the roasted veggies into a blender or food processor (save a few tomatoes that you will use for garnish, or use these if you have them).
5. Add in your stock and puree until smooth.
6. Take your cookie sheet and place it on your stove over a very low flame and pour some boiling water (about 1/3 c) on the sheet while you scrape all of that caramelized goodness up (so much flavour here…never, ever throw this away!!); once it’s all scraped off the bottom, add it to your blender and puree again.
7. Add to a pot and heat (add more stock or water to get to your desired thickness).
8. Season with a touch of salt if needed.
9. In a little oil and vinegar, toss the arugula and set aside.
10. Cut your bread lengthwise and then into strips. Put them in the toaster and then spread some goat cheese on top of them and then with your reserved tomato and a few leaves of dressed arugula.
11. Ladle a generous amount into a bowl and drizzle with a touch of good quality olive oil. Place the crostini on the side and top with a bacon rasher or serve it seperately.
This soup freezes well too (remember this trick??). So, why not grab a bunch of tomatoes at your local market before it closes and make a double batch. Then, on a snowy February afternoon, you can reminisce about those wonderful summer tomatoes over a bowl of piping hot soup!