This soup honestly seems like the perfect end of summer/edging into fall thing. It takes advantage of the last of the fresh tomatoes and perfectly roasts them, adds in bacon, and makes it perfectly savory. Plus, it doesn’t require a lot of watching, which is another bonus as it gets colder out.

Roasted Tomato Bacon Soup
Lasts appx 4 lunches as a main

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs roma tomatoes, sliced in half (I used farmer’s market San Marzanos that were on sale)
  • 2 t olive oil
  • 6 strips bacon, chopped (whoops, forgot to chop them when cooking them, still worked; go thick cut farmer’s market bacon if you can)
  • 1 small white onion, chopped (or half a medium one like I used)
  • 5 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1.5 c chicken stock
  • 1 T smoked paprika
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2/3 c heavy whipping cream

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees while you half your tomatoes, and put them on a foil lined sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, pepper, and sea salt, and roast for about an hour, until the tomatoes are tender and wrinkled. (see pic 2). 

While all this is happening, heat a stockpot over medium heat, and cook to desired doneness (I usually go for mediumish, I like my bacon softer). Remove the bacon, and keep the fat in the pot, and add the onion in, cooking for about five minutes, until soft and almost translucent. Then add in the garlic, and cook an additional minute. 

Add in everything except the heavy cream (chicken stock, paprika, bacon, roasted tomatoes), and bring to a boil before reducing to a simmer over medium low. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, to reduce slightly.

If you have an awesome immersion blender (thanks again paintboxsoapworks!), use it here to puree to a single smooth consistency. If you don’t, use your blender and blend in batches. Either way, once pureed, add the cream to the pot and stir until smooth.  And then, enjoy the roasted tomato bacony goodness!

This salad is the perfect dose of summer. I’ve always had a thing for roasted tomatoes, and being able to do it with heirlooms is even better. And fried halloumi? Oh man, it’s like feta but even better.  …And really, thinking about this more, this could also be a great grilled cheese. 

The best thing I can recommend for this herb wise is to use whatever you have either in your garden, or whatever’s cheapest at the farmer’s market that week. I used oregano, basil, and mint from my garden.

Roasted Tomato and Halloumi Salad
Lasts 3 lunches as a side

Ingredients

  • 2 large heirloom tomatoes, thickly sliced
  • olive oil, sea salt, and pepper
  • 1 block halloumi cheese
  • 1/3 c fresh herbs of choice (I used oregano, basil, and mint)

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees, and line a baking sheet with foil. Place your tomato slices on the sheet, and drizzle with olive oil, sea salt, and pepper.  Roast for twenty minutes, until wrinkly (see pic 2). 

Place a small amount of olive oil in a pan, and heat over medium high heat. Slice your block of halloumi into about six even slices, and add to the pan, frying until golden brown on each side (about three to five minutes). 

Combine the roasted tomatoes and halloumi, toss with the herbs, and enjoy the mouthgasm.

As my tomatoes are finally ripening on the vine and getting ready for harvest, I’m starting to find a lot of uses for the tomatoes I’ve been able to bring to full maturity (I lost at least half my plant due to the storms we encountered back in June). In addition, the less I have to heat stuff up when eating it, the better. So, this recipe from the Japanese Soul Cooking cookbook for cold udon noodles with tomatoes was pretty much exactly what I needed.

To bring out the tomato flavors even more, I ended up deciding to roast my tomatoes for about two hours; this, combined with the soy sauce in the recipe, made it even more delicious. Again, you can make your own udon noodles if you have at least a day or so to devote to it, or you can get the Shirayuki Jumbo Udon Noodles like I did, and only have to boil them for three minutes to get them ready.

Cold Udon with Roasted Tomatoes
Lasts six lunches as a main

Ingredients

  • 4 medium to large tomatoes (I used 5 medium)
  • sea salt
  • black pepper
  • olive oil
  • soy sauce
  • 3 servings udon noodles (one pack of the Shirayuki noodles I mentioned above)

Take your tomatoes and quarter them, and then half those quarters. Put them in a baking dish, and drizzle with olive oil, sea salt, and black pepper. Heat your oven to 300 (275 if it runs hot), and roast your tomatoes for two hours.

About a half hour from the tomatoes being done, put on about four cups of water into a pot, and bring it to a boil. (The instructions only recommended one cup per noodle serving, but I skewed slightly higher to ensure that there was enough water). Once boiling, add your noodles, and stir with a chopstick as they break apart, keeping all the noodles separate. Boil for three minutes, then remove to your colander.  Once ready, strain them in a colander, and then put the colander in a large bowl, and run cold water over them, filling the bowl (and the colander), and stir your noodles, as seen in picture 5. This helps them cool down and not get overcooked or mushy. Cool for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  

Once your tomatoes are done, remove them from the oven and let them cool at least ten minutes. Once cooled, add in soy sauce to taste. The original recipe also recommends shiso, but I didn’t have any on hand (might grow it in the garden next year). 

Then, combine your tomatoes and noodles, ensuring that the noodles are fully coated, and either eat immediately, or chill further in the fridge. Either way, enjoy your minimal fuss meal!

So, I had the day off today, and decided to take advantage of it by making something I’ve wanted to make for a while.  This recipe has popped up in two places lately – in its original form in the Smitten Kitchen cookbook, which is effing fantastic, and a variation over on Set the Table, which will be linked to below.  I took the variation a little further, held the scallions (as I forgot them and didn’t really want to go out and get more)and slow roasted the tomatoes for the filling, and did garlic and herbed goat cheese instead of plain old goat cheese.  

The results, as I just bit into it while I was writing this?  Effing amazing.  Make this.  Make this now.

Tomato Shortcakes with Whipped Goat Cheese
Makes enough to make 5 biscuit sandwiches, plus a little bit of dough left over

  • 2 c plus 2 T flour
  • 2 T baking powder
  • ¾ t salt
  • 5 T frozen butter (remember that trick from the strawberry biscuits recipe with the frozen butter? We’ll be doing that here again)
  • 2 c milk
  • .5 lb cherry tomatoes
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1.5 T champagne vinegar (I had strawberry champagne vinegar on hand, so I used that)
  • salt and pepper to season
  • 3 T heavy whipping cream
  • 4 oz soft goat cheese (I used garlic and herbed)

Preheat your oven to 225 (200 for mine, you know the deal here by now), and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.  Slice your cherry tomatoes in half, and drizzle your olive oil over them.  Roast them in your oven for… well, I actually didn’t get an exact time on how long this was, as I watched about two and a half episodes of season 2 of Once Upon a Time, and it took about fifteen minutes to make the dough for the biscuits, and I took it out after the biscuits were cut.  So, call it… two hours, ish?  They should look a little wrinkled and shriveled.  

While your tomatoes slow roast, in a large bowl, mix together your dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking powder).  Then, take your frozen butter, and the largest holes on your cheese grater, and grate your frozen butter into your dry ingredients.  The butter will get melty as you use it, especially if your kitchen is hot, but keep at it; eventually you’ll get down to a small enough chunk, and once that happens, just toss it in. The end of this should look like the first picture.  Then, mix the butter in with your fingers and distribute it evenly, so the dough looks crumbly (see picture 2).  Then, add your milk and stir until your dough is evenly wet. Turn it out onto your counter, and pat/roll until your dough’s about ¾ to an inch thick.  Use a glass and cut out ten biscuits, rolling the dough out multiple times if you have to.  When you’ve got all your biscuits cut out, take the tomatoes out of the oven, and turn it up to 425 (400).  Line your baking sheet again, and put your biscuits on.  Bake for appx 15 mins, until your biscuits are golden brown.

While your biscuits bake, combine your tomatoes, the remaining olive oil, the champagne vinegar, and the salt and pepper.  In addition, put your whipping cream in a small bowl, and beat it with mixers for about 4 minutes on low speed, until it looks like the fourth picture.  Then add your soft goat cheese, and mix on low until combined and fluffy.

When your biscuits are done, remove them from the oven and let them sit a bit, until cool enough to handle.  On one, put a spoonful of your slow roasted tomatoes, and on the other, spread some whipped goat cheese.  Sandwich together, and nom!

Summer means that it’s a great time for dishes that feature fresh tomatoes, and seafood.  So, why not combine all of these with some awesome cheese?  Why not, indeed.

Roasted Tomatoes with Shrimp and Feta
Lasts appx 4 meals

Ingredients

  • 5 large tomatoes, cut into eighths
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 T olive oil
  • dash salt and pepper
  • 1 pound medium shrimp, deveined and peeled (the package I got came that way, except for the tails)
  • 4 oz crumbled feta
  • 2 T lemon juice

Preheat your oven to 450 (mine was at 425 due to its tendency to run hot), and put your tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, and salt and pepper in your baking dish.  Toss, put the cover on, and put in the oven for 20 mins.  Then, remove from the oven, and add the shrimp, feta, and lemon juice, and toss.  Put back in the oven for another 12 mins or so, until the shrimp is fully cooked).

Eat with some crusty bread to soak up the extra juices.  😉