Monday, November 5, 2012

Gray Days and Sunny Tomato Soup

Tomato Salt
It would be remiss to not discuss the general feeling around here these days. I mean after the storm. I'm sure everyone is feeling it to some degree. Coupled with the fact that the election is tomorrow, and so many people are still concerned with pressing, immediate things, like how to get through the day. It's enough to make one feel a bit unhinged. When I went up to the shopping center yesterday I felt the urgency in the air. There's a panicky sweat going on, an anxiousness to help people, a worry about the Nor'easter they are predicting for Wednesday, and a manic sense of humor that's actually keeping it all together.

The days have been gray, with little sun poking through. It was gray for days before the storm, and for days after, and still the gray lingers. And the cold. A distinct chill filled the air on Friday; we could feel it on the porch as we enjoyed a glass of wine with friends who had come up from Island Park, Long Island to buy two of the last generators for sale at Herzog's in the Kingston Plaza. I have never thought so much about generators in my whole life!

Later this afternoon, the sun broke through the heavy, wooly and chilled clouds. It was so welcome! I bundled my son up and we went to buy some star anise, for a recipe I mean to make if I'm stuck in the house on Thursday, and some new winter mittens. On our way home I made sure to stop at the playground to run around. We went down the slide a few times, walked to the pizza place for a slice and then went home to sit by the fire. The day finished on an up note.

Tomato x 3 = amazing.
I meant to make this today, but never did. Maybe tomorrow I'll be lucky, for it was one of the best soups I've made in a long time. It's broth is tomato water, and it has oven roasted tomatoes and tomato salt. The tomato essence was so strong, and so sunny, and so sweet! The soup's provenance? The freezer! A gallon ziploc stuffed with ripe red halved tomatoes came out the other day to make room for meat. They defrosted half way, and I slipped off their skins to be dehydrated. That makes the salt. I drained the tomatoes--there's the water. The flesh of the tomatoes became sauce, I think, not even part of this dish! The oven roasted tomatoes are a staple; I pulled a few out to swim in this soup, boosting the flavor. This is really how my freezer informs my meals. In a purely delicious, inspiring way!


  1. A bowl of this would have been fantastic last night. It was rainy, chilly and neither my husband nor I could seem to get warm. Hot soup and warm, sunny flavor would have been perfect. Next time . . .

  2. Thank you for sharing your story of how it is there now. And for telling me how to make tomato salt, too. The only other thing I want to say at this moment is that I wish I knew why blogger replaced my face with that little gray head.

    1. And even weirder, I never was notified of your comment! How odd!

      I neglected to mention that once the tomato skins are dehydrated, you must grind them into a fine powder with some salt (sea or kosher, if you please) I think I may have used almost the same amount of salt as tomato powder. Mine was flaky, not a very fine powder.

      There's so much detail I didn't go into!

  3. Love the tomato salt using just the skins...