Roasted Tomato & Cashew Soup
- 800 g ripe tomatoes or equivalent canned
- salt & pepper
- 1/2 cup raw cashews
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion chopped
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 2 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 cup homemade chicken or vegetable stock
- splash of cider vinegar
- basil leaves to garnish
- Preheat oven 180C. Cut the tomatoes into similar sized pieces and layer in a baking dish. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Roast for 20 minutes until sweet and fragrant.
- Place the cashews in a small jug and cover with boiling water to soften.
- Meanwhile heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over a low heat. Add the onions and sauté gently for 10 minutes until translucent, keep the heat low so they don't colour.
- Once the tomatoes are ready add them to the onions along with the spices, garlic and stock. Drain the cashews and add to the soup. Bring to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and use a stick blender to puree until smooth.
- Reheat, check seasoning and add a splash of cider vinegar to taste. Serve hot or cold garnished with little basil leaves.
Luckily others were more successful. And it is times like this I feel ever grateful to have amazing seasonal produce at out fingertips. Although I would love to grow the bulk of our food. Even when I have the best of intentions by planting what I think will be enough for our family. Nature constantly reminds how little control we have, which can be quite disheartening in this modern world where there are apps to measure our heart beat and number of steps we take each day.
My tomato plants have been rather disappointing this year. I am not sure why considering we have had long hot days so essential for these heat loving solanaceae. I thought I had it all perfectly planned for success, I planted them in a different location from last year, spaced them 1 metre apart, transplanted healthy seedlings the weekend before Labour day. It was all looking good early in the season, the plants were watered, feed, staked and tied, laterals trimmed… all the TLC a tomato needs. Maybe we didn’t water enough when they needed it, maybe we watered too much. The truth is we will never know the reason why our tomato crop of 2015 was not a success.
I mean, why did our apricot tree produce twice the amount of fruit it did last year? Or what about those amazing peas in November that for the first time made it beyond the garden steps and into the kitchen. I would love to confidently know what I did so I can repeat this for seasons to come, but I actually have no idea. Maybe next year we will have no apricots – it does happen – and the tomatoes will be a bumper crop. Luckily this year, for where the tomatoes lack, our fruit trees continue to produce. The pantry is already heaving at the sides with 75 jars of preserved fruit and counting.