Summer has hit Sonoma and we are already knee deep in delicious sweet tomatoes. I don't think I actually ever really tasted a proper fresh tomato until we started spending time in Sonoma. Before that the only tomatoes I'd had tasted like hard pink billiard balls and I would do almost anything to avoid using fresh ones as most of them just plain sucked. Then I tasted fresh summer tomatoes and I never looked back. We grew a lot of them last year. I used them in my Indian cooking and so they became a must when we planted this years garden.
Normally those tomatoes would go into a raita or some other Indian dish. I certainly never made a soup from them, or a pasta sauce. But then I started working for CocoaPlanet. The CocoaPlanet folks are opening their tasting room and bistro very soon here in Sonoma and I've been helping develop their menu. The owners are gluten free and so is their chocolate. Their Bistro and Tasting Room is going to be a totally completely gluten free establishment. You heard me... no gluten on the premesis.
I've spent many years cooking gluten free for friends, (I myself am not gluten intolerant) and since Indian food is pretty easy to prepare gluten free, it's never been a problem for people visiting our house. I blend my own flours and we've been having a ball dessert-tasting tarts, cookies, cakes etc. A lot of the desserts are also vegan so this place is going to have something for everyone.
Yes, these guys are both gluten free and vegan.....anyway, that brings me to this soup. Man does not live by macarons alone. And Anne McKibben, founder of CocoaPlanet wanted a lovely fresh tomato soup, similar to ones made by her French mother. Totally pure, tasting of straight up garden fresh tomatoes, this was the unicorn of tomato soups. So after doing my research, I adapted this French recipe... no cooking involved, it's easily made in a blender no muss no fuss. All it requires is the best freshest tomatoes one can find, and this time of year that's pretty easy.
Fresh Tomato Soup With Tarragon Creme Fraiche
Here's What You Need:
4 lbs fresh tomatoes
1/2 cup olive oil
2 cups of vegetable broth
1Tbs red wine vinegar
2 tsps sugar
For the Creme Fraiche:
1/2 cup creme fraiche
1 and 1/2 Tbs chopped tarragon, and some extra for a garnish
Here's What To Do:
Cut the tomatoes in half on the equator side.
Using a teaspoon scoop out the seeds then cut the tomatoes in quarters.
Place the tomatoes in a blender
Add in everything else except the creme fraiche.
Pour the soup through a mesh basket to filter out any tomato skin or seeds that might be left.
Chill the soup for at least 2 hours and serve it up.
Before serving, whip 1 and 1/2 Tbs of chopped fresh tarragon into the creme fraiche.
Place a dollop of the tarragon mixture in the center of the soup and you are ready to go!
If you want this to be totally vegan, either omit the creme fraiche or use a vegan creme fraiche.
If you want to make your own non vegan creme friache, mix together a cup of whipping cream with 2 Tbs buttermilk cover the cup with cheese cloth and set it out for 8 to 24 hours to thicken. Voila! Creme Fraiche! Store in a closed jar in the fridge.
Coming up next, a contest. We're going to be giving away some Spice Kits from our company The Chaunk ...
...and Spice Dabbas from the folks at GitaDini to store your spices in.
So, watch this space! Meanwhile follow along on Twitter at @kathygori