Posts filed under Fall recipes

Gingerbread upside down cake with apples and bourbon cream

I don’t like letting go of summer. The light closes in too early, and I’m pre-mourning the cold, raw days ahead. Somebody please slap me.

There are way too many things we can do nothing about, and the longer I live, the longer the list. The weather is one of them. I’m a spring and summer girl—maybe because I was born in June, just as the promise of light and warm days ahead peaks. Or maybe it’s because I’m a morning person. I love the feeling of the day stretching out ahead, not yet squandered. That’s what early summer feels like to me. So I grumble a little more than I should when the air turns chilly, and I leave you fall and winter people to revel in the change of season.

Letting go is hard, and it’s a daily process that doesn’t quit. You’ve got to take out the trash every single day, and I’m not talking about the kitchen garbage. But there are consolations: taking what today brings and leaving yesterday behind has its rewards. And if you struggle to appreciate them, there are consolations to help you get over the hump. 

 

Like cake.

Any cake would do, but this one sweetens the deal with its dark, warm spices and sugary brown apples on top. It should be served warm, preferably with bourbon whipped cream, an idea I borrowed from Molly O’Neill. Molly made her cake with grated fresh ginger, apple butter, and warm apples on top. The recipe here is an old favorite of mine. I’ll be serving it with Molly’s bourbon cream, while I wait for her to share her recipe. And no, I am not going to sit around and wait for spring. That would be a particularly futile kind of torture. I’m vowing to inhale each day as it comes. Wish me luck.

You can turn the oven on now.

Upside-down gingerbread with apples

Make 1 9-inch square cake

APPLES

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for the pan

4 tablespoons brown sugar

2 Granny Smith apples or other firm cooking apples, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch thick slices

1. Heat the oven to 350° degrees. Butter a 9-inch square pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Butter the paper and sprinkle 2 tablespoons brown sugar over the bottom.

2. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat,. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons brown sugar and stir until the mixture bubbles. Add the apples to the pan, and turn the heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 4 minutes, or until the apples are lightly caramelized but still hold their shape. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside to cool.

3. Arrange the apple slices in one layer in the bottom of the pan, with the darkest side down.

CAKE

1 1/4 cups flour

2 teaspoons ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup light or dark brown sugar

2 eggs

1/3 cup molasses

1/4 cup coffee, at room temperature

1. Whisk the flour, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a bowl until blended.

2. Beat the butter and brown sugar in an electric mixer on medium speed,  until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time.

3. With the mixer on low speed, beat in the molasses and coffee and mix to blend.

Add the flour mixture, and continue to beat on low speed, until the batter is smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl often with a rubber spatula.

4. Distribute large spoonfuls of batter over the apples. Use the back of the spoon to spread the batter evenly in the pan, taking care not to disturb the apples. Bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove the pan from the oven and let rest for 2 minutes.

5. Run a knife around the edge of the pan. Invert a plate on top of the cake. Use oven mitts to grasp both the plate and the pan with two hands. Flip the cake over and allow it to drop onto the plate. Peel off the parchment paper.

6. When cooled slightly, cut the cake into squares and serve with Bourbon whipped cream if you like.

BOURBON WHIPPED CREAM

Be careful not to overwhip the cream. The best way to do this is to beat it just until soft, floppy peaks form, then finish beating by hand with a wire whisk. The cream should be soft, not too thick or stiff.

1 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon sugar, or to taste

1 tablespoon Bourbon, or to taste

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Beat the cream and sugar together until soft peaks form (do not whip all the way.) Add the bourbon and vanilla, and whisk briefly by hand with a wire whisk until blended.

Posted on October 6, 2012 and filed under Cakes, Fall recipes, Sweets, Winter food.

Let the (Thanksgiving) games begin: roasted squash two ways

It took a while, but now I’m in full thrall of the charm of winter vegetables. 

It started with beautiful carnival squash snagging my attention at the market. But they would be lonely without their buddy, the butternut, which is what I was after in the first place, since everyone knows how easy it is to cut up and roast a butternut squash. What everyone doesn’t know, especially you folks who buy it already peeled and diced (cheaters!) is that the skin of the butternut squash is not all that tough and can be eaten. Also, you cheaters should know, it lasts a much longer time in your fridge in its natural state, in case you do not get around to using it right away.

I don’t know about you, but I’m one of those shoppers who becomes overly inspired at the market by all the good stuff I imagine I can make when I get home, but find I am just a little less enthused when I actually get there. Shopping is debilitating, isn’t it? Anyway, produce often languishes in my refrigerator. I KNOW this is not an uncommon problem, so ‘fess up. And buy squash that hasn’t been meddled with. (Organic if you can find it, and well scrubbed.)

Now I admit, I learned that squash skin is edible by watching a Jamie Oliver cooking show (I’m keeping up so you don’t have to). An unscientific survey, conducted by me, revealed that many British cooks do not bother to peel their butternut squash. If you are going to mash or puree it, you might want to peel it first —I bet Jamie doesn’t—but otherwise, it’s quite good in its natural state, and it adds a little more (unmentionable) fiber to the dish. But it’s a losing battle. By all accounts, most Thanksgiving menus are completely fiber-free, unless you count that lonely overcooked green bean on your plate from Great Aunt Margaret’s casserole.

When it came time to roast the squash, I had to make a vegan version first. Full disclosure: I am not a vegan, but there are people who want vegan recipes, and I aim to please. This consisted of squash sweetened with a little maple syrup, and dressed with some bread crumbs, olive oil, almonds and lots of sage. It was lovely. But what I really craved was some strong, knock-me-down cheesy flavors. Gorgonzola, for example.

By the time I got to the second version, I had used all the butternut squash and the almonds in my cupboard, so I needed to move on to the lovely carnival squash, perhaps made all the more alluring by its practically impenetrable outer covering. Hacking it into pieces requires Ninja-like skills, not to mention equipment, so I experimented by softening it a bit in the microwave first (talk about a cheater). It worked reasonably well, but you must still be prepared for a bit of a fight and some bravado. Once you open it and scoop out the seeds, you still need the same brute force and a heavy knife, but with the squash firmly anchored with the flat side down on a cutting board, images of injured digits recede. For all but the intrepid, the peel of this squash is not so pleasant to eat, but it is much too pretty, and let’s face it, too tricky, to peel, so diners will have to eat their way around it. A worthwhile endeavor.

Butternut squash with almonds and sage

Serves 6 as a side dish

1 butternut squash (2 to 3 pounds)

3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and pepper

1/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs

1/3 cup coarsely chopped sage leaves

1/2 cup finely chopped almonds

2 tablespoons maple syrup

1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Scrub the squash but don’t peel it. Halve it lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds. With the flat side down on the cutting board, cut it into 1/2-inch thick half-moons.

2. Spread 2 to 3 tablespoons of the oil on a large baking sheet. Spread the squash on the baking sheet in one layer and sprinkle it with salt and pepper. Press it into the oil and turn it over. Sprinkle the second side with salt and pepper. Bake for 15 minutes.

3. Mix the breadcrumbs, sage leaves, almonds, maple syrup and remaining tablespoon of oil together in a bowl.

4. Remove the squash from the oven and sprinkle it with the breadcrumb mixture. Return to the oven for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, or until the squash is tender and the topping is golden brown.

Carnival (or acorn) squash with walnuts and Gorgonzola

Serves 6 as a side dish

1 to 2 carnival or acorn squash

3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and pepper

1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped

1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs

1 1/2 ounces (1/3 cup) crumbled Gorgonzola or blue cheese, more if you like

1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees.

2. Pierce the squash in 3 places with the tip of a sharp knife. Microwave for about 2 minutes to soften slightly. Cut in half from stem to stern and scoop out the seeds. With the flat side down on a cutting board, cut it into 1/2-inch thick half moons.

3. Spread 2 to 3 tablespoons of the olive oil on a large baking sheet. Spread the squash on the baking sheet in one layer and sprinkle it with salt and pepper. Press it into the oil and turn it over. Sprinkle the second side with salt and pepper. Bake for 15 minutes.

4. Mix the walnuts, breadcrumbs, Gorgonzola and remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil together in a bowl.

5. Remove the squash from the oven and sprinkle it with the breadcrumb mixture. Return to the oven for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, or until the squash is tender and the topping is golden brown.

Cooking Lesson: How to make fresh breadcrumbs:

For one cup breadcrumbs:

Trim the crusts from 2 to 3 (1/4-inch thick) slices of sturdy white bread. Cut the bread into 1-inch pieces. If the bread is very fresh and soft, spread it on wire rack in one layer and let it sit out for about half an hour. It should not be at all squishy. Toss the bread into a food processor and pulse the machine several times until the bread is in small pieces. The exact size of the crumbs depends on their use, but in general they should not be too finely pulverized. Use immediately or store in a heavy-duty plastic bag in the freezer until needed. (They will keep for about 2 weeks, but eventually will dry out and suffer from freezer burn, so wrap them well.)

Note: A one-pound loaf, such as a Pullman loaf, makes about 5 cups breadcrumbs 

Find more squash recipes here: 

Roasted Delicata Squash from Rialto's Ken and Jody 

Sara Kate's Roasted Squash Salad with Dates via Healthy Green Kitchen

Butternut Apple Soup from A Food-Centric Life

Roasted Delicata Squash from White on Rice Couple

Squash and Quinoa Salad from Cooking Lessons

Posted on November 14, 2011 and filed under Fall recipes, How To, Thanksgiving, Winter food, Bread.

The holiday balancing act: an apple tart that’s off the butter chart

Out there in Consumerland, aka Target, where one must venture forth for toilet paper, laundry soap, and other mundane necessities of life, I spotted signs pointing to impending anxiety. As I added the bags of Halloween candy to my cart, I averted my eyes at the sight of snow globes and ornaments. The holidays are coming! The holidays are coming! Just the thought of the approaching madness of the season made me break into a cold sweat. I vowed to stay out of the stores until January, but I know that won’t be entirely possible. (I forgot the Kleenex.)

Still, I realized it is time to start planning to ward off the stress that will inevitably arise if my mind is not in pre-emptive mode. So I am making my list and checking it twice. I’ll start the list with all the crazy stuff I think I should do in the next month or two. Then I’ll give it a go over and cross off at least half of it. Wow, that’s efficient. Only a few days into November, and look how much I’ve accomplished!

You are probably going to be reading a lot about how to manage holiday stress. Those articles will be mixed in with special projects and recipes to brighten the season, as in, more ideas for stuff you can do to drive yourself nuts. While managing your stress.

Not to be a Scrooge or anything, but wake me when it’s over.

So I’ll share my special holiday plans and projects with you here, in the form of another kind of list:

1. Breathe. That’s kind of a given, since we all need air to stay alive, but I’m planning to breathe consciously at every stop light and in every line, to try and center myself and feel what’s going on inside, while noticing my thoughts and feelings without judgment. That’s a tall order, but it doesn’t take more than a few seconds of my ‘precious time.’ 

2. Practice. Speaking of time, I am going to commit to fifteen minutes of ‘practice’ a day. That’s a commitment I know I can keep. For me, practice is simply to sit quietly and tune in. If I start with the fifteen minutes I know I can do, I may extend it, but I’m not going to go all nutty and achievement-oriented on this.

3. Unplug. I am scheduling some unplugged time every day. I want to see if the world goes away if I’m not watching or plugging in. I am pretty confident of the outcome of that experiment.

4. Forget multitasking. Since I can’t walk and chew gum at the same time anyway, I am not worried about this project. Still, I want to focus on one thing at a time while noticing my mind racing on to the next thing, so I can pull myself back to the task at hand. Um, is that multitasking?

5. Put a little distance between self and family dynamics. Boy, this is a killer challenge, since the holidays potentially bring up plenty of old stuff. The key is to watch and learn. Maintaining a teeny bit of detachment from emotions and reactions to situations is healthy and necessary anytime, but especially during the holidays when the past jumps up and tries to grab you. Keep your head when family members make unreasonable demands and you start feeling guilty because they really, really annoy the bejeepers out of you, and you’re trying ever so hard to be loving and kind. Of course, this is general advice—I’m not talking about my own family here.

6. Look at the light. I am enthralled by Christmas tree lights and must remind myself to spend a few quiet moments staring at them when the dark closes in. Even one candle in the evening is symbolic to me of how little it takes to lift oneself out of the darkness we all experience, especially noticeable at this time of year.

7. Stay balanced. With so much activity in the next few months, I have to make a special effort to keep up exercise routines and eat well.

I am not a vegan, but the thought of how much butter I usually consume from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Eve is a scary one. That led me to experiment with this olive oil pastry crust. It has a hefty amount of whole wheat flour, but paired with walnuts and apples, it is quite good in an earthy, crunchy sort of way. As a butter-trained pastry chef, I needed to mentally prepare myself for a different experience, and I was quite pleased with the result. I can tell you, it goes down a lot easier, with fewer regrets, than the buttah-fied version.

Don't be afraid to add flour when you are rolling this crust; it is a bit crumbly. Scrape an offset spatula under it as you roll to keep it from sticking. It is very patch-able as well, so don't fuss if it breaks.

This post was originally published in the now defunct online Magazine of Yoga. 

Apple Tart with Olive Oil Pastry

Makes one 9-inch tart

CRUST

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup organic cane sugar

3 tablespoons finely chopped walnuts

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup olive oil

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/4 to 1/3 cup cold water

1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Whir the whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, sugar, chopped walnuts, and salt together in a food processor for a few seconds, until mixed. Gradually pour the olive oil through the feed tube while pulsing the machine, until the flour absorbs the oil. Add the lemon juice and 1/4 cup water, and pulse until mixture pulls away from the sides of the bowl and starts to form a ball. Add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, if the dough seems dry.

3. Turn dough onto countertop and shape into a flat disk. Lightly flour the countertop and roll the dough into an 11-inch circle. Transfer it to a 9-inch tart pan with a removable rim. Lift the sides of the dough to ease it into the pan so that it fits snugly, pressing it gently into the bottom and sides of the pan. Trim the top edge of the dough so that it overhangs the rim by 1/4 inch. Fold it under itself, with the flap against the sides of the pan, so that it is even with the top of the pan rim. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

FILLING

3 to 4 apples, peeled, cored and cut in thick slices

1/3 cup dark moscovado sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

2 tablespoons apple cider

1. Starting at the outside edge, arrange the apples in the pan, overlapping them slightly.

2. Mix sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg together in a bowl. Sprinkle over the apples. Bake for 35 minutes. Remove tart from the oven and brush the apples with cider. Bake for 15 minutes longer, or until apples are soft and crust is browned. Serve warm.

 

Posted on November 9, 2011 and filed under Fall recipes, Fruit desserts, Sweets, Pies and Tarts.

At the bitter(sweet) end of summer: eggplant casserole

Yes, I do realize it is fall, but I am not listening. I am not ready to embrace squash and pumpkins. Why? I missed summer. I didn’t feel the sand between my toes, or even put on a bathing suit (which for most of us ladies is always a blessing). It just turned out that way. I’d explain, but frankly, it is not that interesting.

As a result of all the stuff I’m not bothering to bore you with,  I realized I needed to get OUT. Somewhere. Anywhere. Away.

Being a procrastinator has its upside. You avoid the crowds.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhh.

Oh, right, this is a food blog. 

So these beauties were still in the market and here's what I made with them: eggplant casserole. I also bought up the last of the tomatoes to make fresh tomato sauce to use and freeze. You can too.

If your market or your garden is still hanging in there with tomatoes (and basil) you can make this sauce and freeze it. Don’t want to bother with sauce from fresh tomatoes? then try this quick one from

Jody and Ken (Jody Adams of Rialto Restaurant in Cambridge MA and writer husband Ken Rivard just started blogging; you should check them out and pick up a few of Jody’s tips, such as how to peel tomatoes something I'm too lazy to do Jody's way.) I won’t be too jealous if you decide to make their eggplant Parm instead of this one.

Speaking of eggplant: Eggplant’s texture is like a sponge and it therefore soaks up a lot of oil. Older eggplant is like an even drier sponge and soaks up more oil. Brushing it lightly with oil and broiling it cooks the eggplant without drowning it in a bath of oil, if that is your concern. Older eggplant can be bitter, too. 

Instead of sweating eggplant with salt to avoid bitterness, give your eggplant a squeeze before you buy it. Fresh eggplant should not be bitter. It should feel firm and the skin should be taut and smooth. You can be a bit more freewheeling with this casserole than some other recipes. 

Want more than 4 servings? Just buy more eggplant and make more stacks with more sauce and cheese.  It freezes well, too, nice to have around when you want to take a day off. At the beach.

Fresh tomato sauce

Makes about 6 1/2 cups

5 pounds plum (Roma) tomatoes

3 tablespoons olive oil

4 cloves, garlic, finely chopped

Salt and pepper, to taste

12 basil leaves, torn in small pieces

1. Bring a kettle of water to a boil. Set a large bowl and a colander side by side in the sink.

2. Core the tomatoes with a paring knife and cut a small, shallow cross at the tip of each one.

3. Working with half the tomatoes at a time, place them in the bowl in the sink and cover with boiling water. Let stand for 20 to 40 seconds, or until the tomato skins pull easily away from the tomatoes. The riper the tomatoes, the less time this will take.

4.With a slotted spoon, transfer the tomatoes to the colander to cool slightly. Discard the water in the bowl. Repeat with remaining tomatoes and more boiling water.

5. Pull off and discard the tomato skins. Cut tomatoes in half crosswise. Gently squeeze each half over an empty bowl to pop out the seeds. Discard the seeds. Cut in 2-inch pieces.

6. Slowly heat the olive oil and garlic together in a large pot over medium heat, until the garlic sizzles. Add the tomatoes, salt, and pepper. Cook for 15 minutes, or until the tomatoes are soft.

8. With a potato masher, break up the tomatoes in small pieces. Continue to simmer the sauce over medium-low heat for 15 minutes longer, or until it thickens slightly. Total cooking time is about 30 minutes. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper if you like. Stir in the torn basil leaves.

Stacked eggplant casserole

Serves 4

2 (1 pound each) eggplant, cut in 1/2-inch thick rounds to make 24 slices

About 1/2 cup olive oil

Salt and pepper, to taste

3 cups fresh tomato sauce

1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

8 large basil leaves

1/2 pound fresh mozzarella, thickly sliced

1 cup fresh bread crumbs

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

1. Set an oven rack 8 inches from the broiler element and turn on the broiler.

2. Spread the eggplant rounds in one layer on 2 large, rimmed baking sheets. . Use a pastry brush to coat them with oil. Turn them over, and brush the other sides with oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

3. Broil the eggplant for 4 minutes on each side, turning with tongs, until golden and cooked through. Cool briefly.

4. Decrease oven heat to 400 degrees.

5. Spread 1/2 cup tomato sauce over the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Using the largest slices first, set 8 slices over the bottom of the pan. Spread each slice with a tablespoon of tomato sauce and sprinkle with a tablespoon of Parmesan.

6. Top each eggplant round with a second slice. Spread with a tablespoon of tomato sauce. Top with a basil leaf and a slice of mozzarella. Cover with remaining eggplant slices. Spoon 1/4 cup of tomato sauce over each stack.

7. Combine the breadcrumbs with the remaining Parmesan, parsley and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Top each stack with about 2 tablespoons of the crumbs.

8. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until hot all the way through and golden brown on top. Serve 2 stacks per person and spoon the sauce around them.

KITCHEN SONGS:

Michael Franks:Eggplant

Betwixt and between: a tomato soup to span the seasons

Standing at the farmers’ market the other day, I wasn’t sure which way to look. Peaches or pumpkins? Corn or delicata squash? Tomatoes or sweet potatoes? The weather last week was telling me to look back at summer, but the week before? A decided nip in the air.

That’s the thing about change. Barring environmental and personal catastrophes, change rarely happens overnight. Conditions sway back and forth, sometimes too wildly for our comfort, until phew! Everything settles down. For a while.

And then it starts all over again.

The fastest track for learning the lessons of change is to invite a child into your home. I don’t mean for the afternoon, but you know, as a baby. Then watch him grow up and watch yourself swing this way and that to keep up, thinking you’ve nailed it one minute and turning around and realizing, the situation has moved on. Your toddler no longer fusses about getting dressed in the morning because he now refuses to go to preschool. There was a moment of peace and a feeling of accomplishment somewhere in the middle of that. Boy, did you feel like at last you were on top of it. Not.

Nothing is static. We might wish for a Groundhog Day existence because it feels safe and comfortable, but if that’s what we want, why not go sit on a bench in Miami right now and get it over with? Everyone, everyone, has times when they must weather slings and arrows. Everyone endures painful times, times of not knowing. 

During carefree times we forget. Years can go by with few bumps in the road, and then…along comes a recession or who knows what, to make us wring our hands. That’s when we need to pay attention to the little moments: the cup of tea or bowl of warm soup on a chilly afternoon, like sweet little islands in a turbulent sea.

So here we are again, on the cusp of a change in seasons, more straightforward than changes in our internal climate. The question of what to eat is not so hard to solve, whether you look forward or backward this month. Peaches or pumpkins? Or maybe a soup that takes the best of summer into the fall: roasted tomatoes and vegetables, smoothed in a blender, to be eaten hot or cold, depending on your mood or the temperature outside.

This was originally published in the now defunct online Magazine of Yoga.

Roasted tomato and vegetable soup (Serves 4)

Plum (Roma) tomatoes have thicker flesh and fewer seeds than mid-summer round, slicing tomatoes and therefore are not so quite so juicy, easily roasted on a rimmed baking sheet without spilling. Use a baking pan if you find that the tomatoes you have on hand are especially juicy. Roasting concentrates all the good veggie flavors; adding water to thin the soup should not dilute them. If you happen to have a little white wine around the house, use it for a little extra oomph; the alcohol evaporates in cooking. If you prefer, leave it out.

3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil

3 pounds plum tomatoes (about 14 to 16)

2 garlic cloves

2 stalks celery, cut in 2-inch pieces

2 carrots, peeled and cut in 2-inch pieces

1/2 medium onion, thickly sliced

1 red pepper, cored, seeded and cut in 2-inch pieces

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

1/4 cup white wine, optional

Snipped chives, for garnish

1. Heat the oven to 450°F. Lightly oil the bottom of 2 rimmed baking sheets.

2. Core the tomatoes, and halve them lengthwise. With your fingers, scoop out and discard the seeds. Trim the root ends from the garlic cloves and lightly smash them with the flat of a knife to break the husks. Leave the husks on.

3. Place the tomatoes in one layer on a baking sheet with the cut side down. Place the celery, carrots, red pepper, onion and garlic in one layer on another baking sheet. Sprinkle the vegetables with salt and pepper, and drizzle with a little olive oil. Roast the tomatoes and vegetables for 20 minutes. Rotate the pans, moving the top pan to the lower shelf and the bottom pan to the upper shelf. Continue to roast for 15 to 20 minutes more (about 35 minutes total), or until the vegetables are soft and the tomato skins are loose and wrinkled. If the tomatoes are slightly charred, so much the better for flavor.

4. Remove the pans from the oven and let rest until the tomatoes are no longer hot, about 10 minutes. Slip off and discard the tomato skins. Remove the husks from the garlic cloves.

5. Puree the vegetables in a blender with 1 cup water, until smooth. Be sure to scrape all the juices from the bottom of the baking sheets into the blender. Pour the puree into a soup pot. Season the soup with salt and pepper, and stir in the wine. Add enough water to thin it to the consistency of heavy cream, about 1 cup, depending on the juiciness of the tomatoes. Simmer the soup for 10 minutes. Season with more salt and pepper if you like. Serve hot or cold.

Note: I like mine with a little cream (naturally). Add a spoonful of heavy cream on top to make it look pretty.

Posted on October 8, 2011 and filed under Fall recipes, Soups, Summer food, Vegetarian.