Two Great Tomato recipes

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Chief Longwind Of The North

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For all you gardeners, tomatoes should soon be ripening. I have some recipes for y0u, Gazpacho, and my own Tomato Soup, made from fresh tomatoes, and a cooking exercise from one of my cookbooks, Hope you like them.

First, some history. I was well known at our local farmer's Market, as they had been my sponsor at multiple chili cookoffs. One day, I was approached by one of the vendors who grew copious amounts of tomatoes. She stated that she was tired of canning plain tomatoes, and asked me to create a yummy tomato soup for hr, from scratch. She gave me about ten fresh, beautifully ripe, beefsteak tomatoes to work with. I made a soup from them, put it in a vacuum thermos, and brought it to her. he loved it so much that she insisted on giving me a bushel basket full of ripe, freshly picked tomatoes. I'm sharing this recipe as/i really like everyone on DC, and want to share something that came out really good.

Chief's Herb Kissed Tomato Soup

This gives a very nice and creamy soup that will warm your bones. Serve with a good, crusty artisan bread.

Ingredients:
6 medium, ripened-on-the-vine tomatoes
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 Tbs. dry basil
1/2 tsp finely ground black pepper
*
Blanch the tomatoes for 30 seconds in boiling water to loosen the skins. Remove the skins. Sauté the onion in 2 tbs. olive oil until softened, you may caramelize them if you wish, but it isn't essential. Add the minced garlic to the onion and cook for another half minute; then add the tomatoes. Heat through and use and immersion blender, or pour into a stand blender to liquefy. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer for 20 minutes more.
*
The beauty of this soup is that you can alter the herbs or add other spices to turn it into anything you want. You could add cream if you desire, which is very tasty, or throw in some thyme, rosemary, and ground beef to turn it into a Bolognese sauce. Add carrots and celery to give it a more French flavor. You can really do whatever you want with it. But it's pretty tasty just as is too.

Chief's Gazpacho

Gazpacho originated in Spain and was brought to Mexico by the Spaniards. It is a cold, tomato-based beverage that relies on raw vegetables for flavor, texture, and to provide a refreshing zest to any meal on a hot August day.
There are many recipes for this cold soup. Mine is basic, but contains the essential ingredients upon which you can expand. I've taken the liberty of adding an avocado to help thicken and add just one more flavor layer to this soup. The avocado makes it creamier. I've usually experienced Gazpacho without the avocado, or with the fruit sliced and served on the side. But any way you make it, it's good stuff.
Hmmm. As this is a book to help you learn how to create new and interesting dishes from a basic understanding of food, I'm going to also give you a Gazpacho recipe to play with. We'll create it together. You'll see what I mean following the below listed recipe.
Ingredients:
5 ripe Tomatoes, quartered
1 sweet Onion, diced
1 medium cucumber, wased and cut into chunks
 yellow Bell Pepper, diced
3 tbs. Cilantro leaves
2 rip Haas Avocados, peeled and diced (optional)
¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive oil
1 fresh lime, quartered
salt
Place all ingredients, except the lime wedges, into the blender along with 2 tbs. Cilantro leaves, olive oil, and the avocado. Blend until smooth. Pour the mixture into a large bowl. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Serve as a refreshing beverage, along with the quartered limes and salt.

Chief's Garden Soup

Just for fun, I
'm putting this excerpt from one of my cookbooks in. Play with it. Make something amazing. Be the Chef of your kitchen:chef:.

I am going to give you a list of ingredients that will go well in this soup, and let you decide which ones and how much of each ingredient to add. I'll also give you tips about how to add ingredients in a way that will almost guarantee success.
Ingredients:
Fresh, whole, ripe Tomatoes
Tomato juice
Fresh Cilantro
Pepper Sauce (Tabasco or Frank's)
Fresh, chopped Jalapeno Peppers
Diced Bell Peppers (red, green, yellow, and orange)
Chili Powder
Sliced Celery
Chopped Onion
Sliced Carrots
Fresh Corn Tortillas
Avocado
Whole Kernel Corn
Salt
Pepper
Cumin
Paprika
Minced Garlic
Garlic Powder
Onion Powder
Okra
Kidney Beans
Pinto Beans
Chopped Spinach Leaves
Let's think about what this soup is supposed to do. It's supposed to refresh us, while at the same time, satisfy our taste buds. And remember, this cold soup was traditionally a way to use up good vegetables from the garden.
With that in mind, let's decide which ingredients to use. Of course we're going to use some kind of tomato with tomato juice for the base. This will allow you to cut the tomatoes into bite-sized chunks.
The problem with many fresh veggies is that if left to sit while raw, natural enzymes begin to digest the vegetable. Think day old lettuce that’s been left out. So we either need to blanch the veggies to denature the enzymes, or use them very fresh. Cooked tomatoes are already in a state that will keep well.
The herbs,(cilantro, garlic, onion, pepper) when cooked will give up much of their flavor to the tomato broth. But this is supposed to be a cold soup. So we will have to cook these in the broth and then allow the soup to cool in the refrigerator.
Raw onion is a great flavor, in very small amounts. I use it in Cole-slaw. But that flavor will be overpowering to this soup. So, we will either need to cook the onion in the broth, to sweeten it and remove the crunch, or use onion powder. The same is true of the garlic.
The hot sauce, now there's a variable. Some people love it, and others detest it. I suggest putting this condiment at the table and allowing the individual to add it to their own bowl.
The peppers will add great flavor, but use sparingly. Add a little, let cook for a good fifteen minutes or so and taste. If you need to add more, do so. If not, don't add more, just to show how hot you can handle food. Your guests or family will not appreciate you at all if the soup is too spicy-hot..
The bell peppers should be diced fairly small and cooked into the broth. The flavor is great. But remember, the richer the color, the greater the food value. Also, the more colorful peppers are higher priced. So use your best judgment. One more thing, bell peppers have a strong flavor. As with all ingredients, add sparingly, but use enough to add color and flavor to the soup.
The cilantro is my favorite herb to add to most things Mexican. It is pungent in flavor, reminiscent of parsley, but without the bitterness. Use too much though, and you've ruined the soup.
Then there are other spices and herbs you can add, and other ingredients such as mushrooms, capers, olives, etc. All I can say is put together the various flavors in your mind. Try to imagine what each addition will add to the overall flavor. Then, add what you think will work. Season sparingly. You can always add more. But once its in, you can't get it out.
Now, go make the best Garden Veggie soup you've ever tasted. You can do this.

Seeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
 
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