Tomatoes are not hard to grow, they are incredibly productive in summer, and very versatile to use in the kitchen.
They originally came from Peru and are a nutrient-dense super food and an excellent source of vitamin C and other antioxidants. Including tomatoes in the diet can help protect against cancer and maintain healthy blood pressure.
Tomatoes are fruits, not vegetables! China alone is producing one quarter of the world’s production of 60 million tons. This most popular fruit is red, although other colours are possible including green, yellow, orange, pink, black, brown, white, and purple.
About half of consumption comes in the form of tomato sauce and ketchup. Yeah, that’s a lot of ketchup.
The biggest tomato fight in the world happens each year in the small Spanish town of Buñol. The festival called La Tomatina, involves some 40,000 people throwing 150,000 tomatoes at each other.
Be sure to store fresh tomatoes at room temperature. Avoid refrigeration, as this causes tomatoes to lose their flavour.
Tomatoes find their way into many different recipes. This oven baked tomato soup version is always a hit with the entire family! A thicker version of this soup is a perfect tomato sauce!
Oven baked tomato soup
- Cut the tomatoes in half. Chop the onion and garlic in big pieces.
- Season all with salt, pepper, Italian herbs and olive oil.
- Arrange on a baking tray and bake in a pre-heated oven (180°) until tender.
- Blend the baked vegetables and pass through a sieve
- Season to taste and adjust the thickness with vegetable of chicken stock. To balance the acidity, add a little honey or sugar.
- Serve with some freshly chopped basil, a drizzle of olive oil and diced, fresh mozzarella or croutons.