Saturday, October 22, 2011

It's a Keeper

We had our first frost/freeze this week. This time, I took the weatherman's warnings to heart and went out to strip the tomatoes off the only garden plant that survived the difficult summer -- a grape tomato plant that had been an "extra" and went in a large flower pot beside the swimming pool. The plant grew to be HUGE and was covered with tomatoes about the size of my thumb or smaller. Unfortunately, most of those tomatoes were green. I say "unfortunately" because the only things I knew to do with green tomatoes are make relish (which my family just doesn't eat) or fry them (which I've never had success doing). But unwilling to let them go to waste, I picked them all and got two 5-quart buckets full of a mix of ripe, nearly ripe, and green tomatoes.

Then I consulted "The Google" (as my sister calls it) and found a recipe for green tomato soup. Now, allow me a little side story here. We all have those days when we're tired of our jobs and fantasize about what else we might be doing, right? Unlikely as it might seem, my husband and I have a fantasy that we could run a restaurant that specializes in soup. I can see it in my head - we would buy an old house with "character" and fill it with flea market furniture so it has an eclectic atmosphere. The menu would be nothing but soup and the stuff one might like to eat with soup - cornbread, breadsticks, crackers. Maybe very simple sandwiches and cookies. And coffee drinks (although neither of us drinks real coffee - but this is a fantasy, right! Ha ha).  There would be some soups that would be staples of the menu, but one of the attractions of this restaurant would be the "daily special" - some kind of soup that is different. So I'm always on the lookout for recipes I could use in my fantasy soup kitchen someday.

Enough of that. I tried the green tomato soup recipe with a little apprehension as to whether the family would like it - I mean, green tomatoes? Soup?  But it turned out to be excellent! It was also very simple to make. It has ham, a mix of green and red tomatoes, and a jalapeno pepper, and that's about it.  (The red stripes in the picture are skins from the red grape tomatoes - I probably should have peeled them, although they didn't detract from the flavor or texture of the soup, and hey, they add that fiber we all need....) It was just perfect with a big chunk of fresh cornbread crumbled in.  Even my daughter declared the recipe to be a "keeper." So this weekend I'm going to chop and freeze all the additional green tomatoes so we can have another batch (or three) this winter.

Maybe someday you can stop by the fantasy soup kitchen and have yourself a big bowl of hot green tomato soup!


Mary Obrink Schaffer said...

Love the story. Love your idea for a restaurant. Richard would like to 1) be younger and 2) open a restaurant in Portugal featuring American dishes (bbq ribs, real hamburgers, etc.). Let me emphasize that it's not going to happen for him. I'm going to send you a couple soup recipes when I get time and after we try the new soup we had today which was--believe it or not--carrot and potato soup with green beans and carrots in it. Sounds gross but was excellent!

Colony Mountain Stitcheries said...

Your try-it-out recipes are inspiring me to try out some new ones...can't wait to visit your restaurant, and I just might have a bowl of "green tomato soup."