Monster Booty

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I’m the lucky recipient of another bundle of joy – a giant bag of groceries.  Between a dinner party and a vacation, a friend found himself in excess of food, so instead of letting it go bad, he gave them to me to make good.  The take:

-3 tangerines

-3/4 cucumber

-ginger

-8 Meyer lemons

-celery

-romaine lettuce

-1 pear

-4 tomatoes

-1 box of cherry tomatoes

-arugula

-dinner rolls

-mini rye bread

-7 kinds of cheese

-some yummy cooked fish thing

Whoa.  The fish and arugula were quickly finished for lunch.  I brought the cheese and rye bread to work for a sorority cheese party.  Some of the lemons were used for the infused vodka.  Now what?

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Rationalizing that the tomatoes would be the first to go, I decided to try the Toasted Oats and Fresh Tomato Soup with Basil and Orange Zest fro The Gourmet Garage Cookbook.  Except that I didn’t have any basil (it’s December and I ran out of money for the rest of the week.  Such is the budget.)  What starts out as a basic tomato soup becomes unconventional with the addition of oatmeal and orange.  Apprehensive at first, it’s quite good.  The oatmeal is almost nutty like barley from the toasting, having the texture of exploded rice but creamier.  The oranges emphasize and carry the sweetness of the tomatoes.  Strange bedfellows, yet effective.

Toasted Oats and Fresh Tomato Soup with Orange Zest (adapted from The Gourmet Garage Cookbook)

-blanch 2 big tomatoes until skin cracks, about 2 minutes

-remove from water, let cool

-chop 1 small onion

-mince 1 garlic clove

-peel, seed and chop tomatoes

-toast 1/2 cup rolled oats in a small skillet until the darken slightly, about 5-8 minutes

-melt 2T butter in a stockpot over medium

-add onion and garlic, cook until soft, about 5 minutes

-add tomatoes, cook 2 minutes

-add 2 1/2 cups chicken stock and 1t orange zest, bring to boil

-reduce heat to low, add oats, cover and cook 8 minutes

I really like the soup the way it is, but the original recipe asks for 1/3 cup basil for double the quantities to serve six.  I halved it so I wouldn’t get sick of it over the span of a week.

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