Friday, July 14, 2006


'Mater Soup

My golf buddy had extra tomatoes because his wife grew too many. I haven't had too many so I took some of theirs so I could make tomato soup.

This recipe was in the Dallas Morning News Wednesday when these extra tomatoes came my way, so after golf, I made this soup. It is delicious.

This recipe calls for SIX POUNDS of fresh tomatoes. I only had 3 pounds so I made a half recipe.


2 T olive oil
2 medium onions, diced (about 2 cups)
2 cloves fresh garlic, crushed
6 lbs fresh, ripe tomatoes
1 t salt
1 t sugar (I used Splenda)
3 sprigs fresh thyme (I used 1 teaspoon dried)
1 bay leaf
1/4 C fresh chopped basil

Heat the oil in a large pot. Cook the onions and garlic until onions are golden. Stir in all the other ingredients. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat to a vigorous simmer. Cook, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes or until the tomatoes are breaking up. Remove from heat and allow to cool (about 20 minutes). Puree in a blender in batches. Strain, if desired (I didn't). Add black and cayene pepper to taste. Reheat and serve.

I also added 2 tablespoons of butter and 3 tablespoons of heavy cream to my half recipe and thought it was great.

Thanks to Pat for growing the extra 'maters.

Sunday, July 02, 2006



Have you seen the movie "Cars"? The tow truck, voiced by Larry the Cable Guy, is named 'Mater, southern short for tomato.

Cars is a wonderful movie, Larry the Cable Guy is wonderful as 'Mater, and our 'maters are coming in by the basketful, and they are equally as wonderful. How did this happen? I can't grow up, much less grow tomatoes.

But here they are in all their tasty beauty. Big ones, little ones, even Italian ones.

What to do with this bounteous harvest? There are only so many tomatoes one can eat raw with pepper and salt.

As always, look online for recipes, in cookbooks for recipes, and magazines for recipes.

Here are two which we love. The first is Sweety's favorite and it comes from The Food Network and is a Southwestern influenced dish:

Corn, Avocado, and Tomato Salad

Difficulty: Easy
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
User Rating: 5 stars

2 cups cooked corn, fresh or frozen (I use corn on the cob, grilled on the gas grill. And just one ear of corn. I want this to be more tomatoey.)
1 avocado, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 pint (2 cups) cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup finely diced red onion

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon grated lime zest
1 bablespoon fresh lime juice
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Combine the corn, avocado, tomatoes and onion in a large glass bowl. Mix together the dressing ingredients in another bowl, pour over the salad, and gently toss to mix.

My favorite new recipe for tomatoes comes from the current issue (July, 2006) of Southern Living, page 104. This is an Italian flavor. Although the recipe calls for serving the tomatoes over lettuce, it is great in a bowl all by itself.

Italian Tomato Salad

2 1/2 lbs. of ripe tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup cider or balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon salt (this seems like a lot of salt, so you may want to cut back a little.)
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 garlic clove, minced (I use a garlic press)
Mixed salad greens

Stir together the first 8 ingredients in a medium bowl. Cover and chill at least 30 minutes. Serve over or toss with salad greens.

Very tasty!

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