Summer extended its stay in Vancouver this year - warm, sunny days made us forget that fall would have to return to our beautiful city. Of course, fall in Vancouver means quite a few grey, cool, rainy days. Fall has indeed returned over the last week. Although we will continue to complain about the rain as all Vancouverites do, we'll also remember the sunny and dry days of September. September allowed us to extend our growing season a bit and helped our own backyard to produce a bumper crops of apples, radishes, carrots and tomatoes.
Our apple tree was also popular with the neighbourhood squirrels, birds and the occasional raccoon! The birds also loved the seeds from our sunflower plants that we hung to dry!
|Our Cox's Orange Pippin apple tree.|
|This little bird had a great afternoon feast on our sunflower seeds!|
|After the feast she rested in our vegetable garden.|
|We still have quite a few beautiful tomatoes growing!|
Besides eating our tomatoes in salads and salsa, I've been making this simple and delicious tomato soup. I've used up to three pounds of tomatoes in this recipe. You can also use it as a pasta sauce!
- 1 celery stalk,
- 2 medium carrot, peeled
- 2 small onions
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2lb fresh tomatoes, skinned, roughly chopped into large pieces
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- ½ tsp salt
What to do
This tomato soup recipe makes about 6 cups.
- Dice the celery, carrot, onion and garlic, roughly all the same size.
- Bring a large pot of water to boil. Carefully drop the tomatoes into the water for one minute or until skin bursts. Remove the tomatoes and place into a bowl of ice water. You should be able to peel the skins quite easily now.
- Chop the tomatoes into large pieces and place in large pot or dutch oven.
- Layer the carrots, celery, onions and garlic onto the tomatoes.
- Add the basil and sprinkle salt on top.
- Drizzle the olive oil on top.
- On medium heat, bring soup to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for one hour.
- Using use an immersion blender, blend soup to desired consistency. (Beware – if you use a blender to do this make sure your soup has cooled completely to avoid the heat of soup blowing of the blender lid risking burns and a huge mess.)