It is that time of year when the nights are getting cooler, and soup is sounding more and more appealing for dinner. Luckily, we still have an abundance of tomatoes coming out of our community garden that need using up promptly, so tomato soup has been high up on our list of to-do’s.
Technically, my mom has been requesting tomato bisque, which from what I can tell, is just a slightly thicker, cream-based tomato soup than my usual recipe. I made mine by roasting a trayful of tomatoes at 450F with onions and whole garlic cloves, all sprinkled with olive oil, until everything had softened and started to caramelize around the edges. Then I pushed the lot through a food mill to strain out the solids, and added milk and cream, more or less a cup of each, with some fresh dill, salt and pepper. Once it all came up to a gentle simmer, I whisked in a couple tablespoons of beurre manie to thicken the soup, considered pouring the whole pot through a strainer, and then called it good enough. The soup was still quite velvety and rather acidic from the garden-fresh tomatoes, very good but not quite to my personal taste.
To go with the soup, I played off the classic soup and sandwich combination but broiled some leftover potato latkes in the oven with sliced ham and fontina cheese, topped with diced pickled peppers that I brined the week before (here, to their left, you can see a jar of brined herb pickle spears). These were the large green peppers we grew in our backyard, a bit spicy but not mind-blowingly so, and they made an excellent garnish for the rich latkes.