One of the blessings of summer is the fun of growing your own tomatoes.
As soon as the herb festival hit our local farmer's market we hot footed it over there from our Asheville Bed and Breakfast
. This year I restricted myself to only two plants. Why you ask? Well, though tomato plants come in those adorable little 4" pots...they don't, God help me, remain that size. The first year we owned At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn was also my first experience with growing tomatoes. I sought advice from the innkeeper across the street. She looked at the space on my back porch and promptly identified that I could have 5 tomato plants. I sought my pots, got my soil, planted those little tender plant friends, watered and fertilized them as instructed and in return....They took over the entirety of the back porch. Those five plants completely absorbed the back porch.... so much so that my guests, though impressed with these titan plants, were relegated to the front porch, the garden chairs or the picnic area at our inn unless they wanted the stems of the verile beasts around their throats.
In any event, having told my funny tomato plant story I am now going to offer you something to do with the bounty of tomatoes I hope you enjoy this season.
This recipe is from my nurse midwife friend Laine Epstein. I make it every summer and every summer I thank her for sharing. Enjoy!
4 cups cold tomato juice (If you like the taste of V8 better it will suffice quite nicely.)
1 small well-minced onion
2 cups freshly diced tomatoes
1 cup minced green pepper
1 diced cucumber
2 scallions chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley
1 tsp. each of tarragon and basil (if fresh, twice the amount)
Juice of 1/2 lemon and 1 lime
2 T. Wine Vinegar or Balsamic Vinegar ( I have used both with success)
1/4 tsp. of ground cumin
1 clove garlic crushed
1 tsp. honey
Tabasco Sauce ( a dash or more if you like)
2 T. Olive oil
Kosher salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients. Chill for at least two hours but is best served at room temp or slightly colder but not refrigerator cold.
This soup can be pureed if desired. Serve with crusty rolls for a Sweet summer dinner that just can't be beat.
Patti and Gary Wiles Innkeepers At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn Your Asheville Bed and Breakfast