One of my favorite scents is that of fresh tomatoes, that old-fashioned smell
that is becoming increasingly rare, except for summer time – their natural
This summer, I’m also growing my own.
actually a wondrous fruit (botanically speaking, in spite of the fact that we
consider them a vegetable), and there are thousands of varieties throughout the
world. Last week, there was even an opportunity to taste some of them at a Slow
Food get-together at the home of Erez and Noa Gozen of Moshav Yesha, who grow
almost 2,000 types of tomatoes for seed-buyers around the world to
Although some people who are sensitive to their acidity eschew
them, tomatoes (and watermelon) are a great source of lycopene, a powerful
disease-fighting antioxidant, which is more readily available to the body when
the tomatoes are chopped or cooked. They are also low in calories… and did I say
delicious? Freeze these best-of-the-season tomatoes for use in the months to
come.TOMATO SOUP 8-10 servings
Here’s how to do it in three easy steps:
1. You can use any tomatoes, but make sure they are ripe but not mushy. For
sauce, the best type to use is the Roma (“Tamar”) because they have thicker,
meatier walls and less liquid.
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2. Cut an X on the bottom of each tomato
and drop into a pot of boiling water a few at a time for no more than 1 minute.
Remove with a slotted spoon and plunge into a bowl of ice water. This will
facilitate peeling. Also remove hard cores. Cut in half and gently squeeze out
seeds and excess liquids (you can save these for soup or a vinaigrette base).
Turn over and drain well.
3. Pack into Ziploc bags (don’t stuff) and
remove as much air as possible. For a vacuum effect: Stick in a straw and suck
out remaining air. Pinch the inserted tip of the straw flat and slip it
Freeze.CHILLED TOMATO SOUP WITH PERNOD (OR ARAK)
uses tomatoes and a variety of summer vegetables to make a delicious chilled
soup. Serve it in the evening, and make sure to take off some for the kids
before you add the Pernod! TIP: You can make an easy homemade vegetable broth
for this recipe by cooking a couple of carrots, an onion, the stalks of the fennel and leek and the other part of the celery root (both
used in this recipe), together with parsley and the tomato liquids in 5-6 cups
water till tasty and fragrant (about 30 minutes).
✔ 2 kg. fresh tomatoes,
peeled, deseeded and chopped
✔ 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
✔ 1 leek (white
part only), chopped
✔ 1 medium fennel bulb, chopped
✔ Half celeriac, peeled and
✔ 80 gr. butter
✔ 1 liter (4 cups) vegetable broth
✔ 1 Tbsp.
natural cane sugar
✔ Salt and white pepper to taste
✔ 2⁄3 cup Pernod or arak
250 ml. cream or 10% or 15% cream
✔ Chives or scallions for garnish
Melt butter and cook the onion, leek and fennel together
until just tender. Add the celeriac and cook an additional 2 minutes. Add the
tomatoes and vegetable broth, sugar, salt and bring to a boil. Simmer 30 minutes
and let cool.
Pulverize in the blender or with a stick blender until
smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning.
Add the sweet cream and heat to just
under a boil. Let cool, chill and stir in Pernod just before serving.
garnish, cut scallions lengthwise into thin strips and drop into ice water until
Divide the soup into portions and garnish with the scallion strips
or chives.QUICK SUMMER SALSA
✔ 1 mango, peeled and diced
✔ 1 avocado,
peeled and diced
✔ 4 medium firm but ripe tomatoes, diced
✔ 2 or more Tbsp. hot
fresh green pepper
✔ Half cup chopped fresh coriander
✔ 2-3 garlic cloves,
✔ Salt to taste
✔ 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon or lime (soon to be in season)
✔ 1⁄4 cup chopped red onion
✔ 3 Tbsp. olive oil
Mix all the ingredients
together, cover and chill. Serve with fish dishes, as a dip with tortilla chips
or as a filling for pita or tortillas.
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