So I’m going to get really real with you guys. I failed at gardening this year. My husband and I got this super cute little plot in our community garden and envisioned ourselves bringing home bounties of fresh vegetables each weekend. We figured we’d have tomatoes coming out our ears and zucchini for months. We expected juicy, ripe summer strawberries, and boat loads of green beans. We planned to get to the garden once a week to weed and a couple times a week to water. Our hearts were in the right place, I swear.
However, what we ended up with was a weed infested rectangle of Earth that we maybe visited a total of 4 times. It gave us 2 tiny strawberries, 2 ridiculously huge zucchini and a constant nagging feeling that we never should have done this in the first place. I know what you’re thinking… There’s still so much more summer left! It’s just the beginning of August! Give it another shot! Yeah. No. It’s over. We’re done with the damn garden. We have given the green light for it to be passed on to someone else. Someone who will take care of it and spend time with it and give it the love that it needs. And we’re totally okay that with admitting that’s not going to be us. I’m not going to beat myself up over it either. Between our crazy work schedules, and caring for our child, we haven’t felt like prioritizing time for the garden. And so the garden must go.
Sometimes you have to cut your loses, move on and accept the fact that you did your best, but now it’s over. Thankfully we have a delicious CSA from Square Roots Farms that delivers us fresh veggies every week so we can try to forget about our own gardening shortcomings and enjoy the fruits of their labor. This week our box was filled with a bunch of big, beefy slicing tomatoes. Bright red, perfectly tender and ripe, juicy tomatoes grown with the appropriate amount of love and care. And so this weekend I made gazpacho and sipped chilled sauvignon blanc and came to terms with the fact that I will not be adding gardening to my list of hobbies any time soon.
Roasted Tomato and Garlic Gazpacho
- 3 lbs. beefstake (or any slicing) tomatoes, core removed, quartered
- 1 yellow onion, roughly chopped
- 2 heads garlic, sliced in half width wise
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Kosher salt
- fresh cracked pepper
- 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 (14.5 oz.) can coconut milk
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place garlic, cut side up, onto a small piece of tin foil. Drizzle each half of garlic with about a teaspoon of olive oil, then fold the tin foil up into a small pouch. Spread tomatoes and onions across a baking sheet in a single layer. Drizzle remaining olive oil across the onions and tomatoes. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Scooch veggies over to make room for the garlic pouch and place baking sheet in the oven. Roast for 1 hour. But remove the garlic after 40 minutes or it will start to burn. After an hour, the edges of your tomatoes will look burnt. This is good–the tomatoes will be most flavorful.
Allow the tomato and onion to cool for a few minutes, then transfer to a high speed blender. Squeeze garlic from the peel into the blender. Add basil and blend on high for about 3 minutes or until smooth.
Transfer pureed mixture to a large pot over medium high heat. Stir in Parmesan, oregano, chicken stock and coconut milk. Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes. Allow soup to cool for at least 1 hour on the counter. Then place in sealed container in your fridge and allow to chill for another hour. At this point your gazpacho is ready to be served!
I like to serve mine with crusty French baguette topped with a schmear of goat cheese or burrata, but it’s totally up to you.
Optionally, you could also serve this soup warm, which I did on an unseasonably rainy, cool, July day. I ate it with crusty French baguette topped with a dollop of burrata and it was divine.