Monday, 24 October 2016

All in the Tomato

There's just something about tomato soup...
Hi, everyone, whoever you are! I was doing some teaching (a lot of teaching) and it was hard to keep this thing going; but here I am, back again with more of An Actor (me) Preparing Lunch.

I've been doing a lot of thinking lately about my life and career. I'm in a transitional phase, no longer teaching full-time (It was a good, year-long experiment) and working towards "the next thing," whatever that might be. One thing that happened over the course of my year is... I gained some weight. I'd been eating much junkier and most of my activity was sitting around a theatre telling people what to do and where to go. The other day I pulled Mark Bittman's VB6 off my bookshelf to give it a second pass. Bittman writes that we should be eating way more vegetable product and way less animal product, and so he proposes going Vegan Before 6 p.m. So... high time for some soup, I think, and the return of An Actor Prepares Lunch!

A Tomato Soup
1 hour prep, 45 min cook time

Take some time to quarter and de-seed 3 lbs. of tomatoes (Roma are easier to work with, I find). Also, chop up a yellow onion and a red bell pepper, while you're at it.

All the tomatoes.
Heat 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Sweat the onion and red pepper with a heavy pinch of salt. Stir occasionally for about 7 min., until the onion starts to become translucent. Add 4 minced cloves of garlic and stir for another 3-4 min. Throw in a pinch of red pepper flake and a bunch of thyme (I tied some sprigs together; make sure you take it out if you do it this way before you puree). Stir for 1 min. Deglaze with 1/4 c. white wine. Add in 2-3 bay leaves, the fresh tomatos plus a 28 oz. can of whole peeled tomatoes, and about 4 c. vegetable broth and/or tomato juice. Stir once, cover, and bring to a boil. Then turn the heat down low and simmer for 30 min. Remove the pot from heat and fish out the bay leaves (and thyme, if necessary). Stir in 2 tbsp. maple syrup and some fresh parsley and fresh basil. Puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with more parsely and/or basil.

Vegan and delicious!

Title inspiration: All in the Timing is a collection of one-act comedies by David Ives. Premiered at Primary Stages, New York City, December 1993, although individual one-acts had their own premieres prior to this staging.

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