Yesterday we spent a beautiful day at Greenwood Beach in Evanston. We shared the day with some wonderful friends as a third birthday celebration for a sweet, sweet girl. Blue skies, bright sun, a gentle lake breeze and warm water. Seriously, the water was warm. I think birthday girl's grandma called it a "birthday miracle". How lucky! We all talked of how grateful we were for such a perfect day at the end of beach season.
Then this morning we woke to fall. The sky was gray, there was no sun and the gently breeze had turned into cold wind. Uckk. Mother Nature can be so cruel.
While yesterday we picnicked, today I searched for something to warm us up. Chilly, fall day and too many garden tomatoes means tomato soup. Super easy and especially tasty with fresh heirloom tomatoes and thyme from the garden.
Sweat a large onion in a pot with a bit of olive oil. Throw in a clove or two of garlic, a few chopped carrots then allow that to soften and mellow. Add 6 cups seeded and chopped tomatoes, 4 cups stock of choice and a handful of thyme sprigs and let it cook. Season well with salt and pepper.
You can puree this soup thoroughly or leave a bit of texture. I like to use the immersion blender for the job - why make more dishes. This batch was pureed to a silky texture. With all the yellow "no-names" and green zebras I threw in the pot, it has a warm, golden color - like winter squash. It can be enriched with 1/2 & 1/2 or cream or just leave it as is - that's the way we like it best.
Mission accomplished. Hot soup, warm toasty gruyere and bacon sammies on a cold night. Perfect.
And only 6 huge tomatoes left on the window sill....
9 hours ago