For me it started with names, those names led to a lexicon of tomato flavors I had never experienced before. Some of my favorites are Bloody Butcher, Mortgage Lifter, Cherokee Purple, Boxcar, Black Krim, Green Zebra, Sungold, Amish Paste, Martino’s Roma, Prince Borghese, Gold Medal, Hillbilly Potato, Pork Chop, and Brandywine.
Most of these are heirloom varieties that have been passed down through several generations of a family’s gardeners. In the past half a century we have lost countless amounts of these heirloom varieties along with as many small family farms that regularly grew these keepsake tomatoes. I cherish these antiques and await their ripeness — with one hand clenched around a container of local sea salt and the other on the hilt of my sharpest knife.
These heirlooms sport a rainbow of color and sweet, juicy meat and flesh. They aren’t around all year; the best colors, shapes, and sizes are at their peak of ripeness in my zone around late August through September and ending in October. Over these several months you can find yellow pear-shaped ones, bright red baseball-sized beauties, and even orbital green varieties. The yellow heirlooms tend to be milder than those tart, sharp ruby reds, and the emerald green orbs generally produce a lightly acidic zesty bite bursting with flavor.
By now almost everyone is familiar with a few varieties of heirloom tomatoes. You probably see them in the grocery store and most definitely at your local farmers market. Being able to enjoy their individual idiosyncratic qualities, those colors, textures, sizes, shapes, and flavors vary sometimes drastically from variety to variety. This makes using heirloom tomatoes so interesting. As a chef I don’t use tomatoes from the grocery store and haven’t for more than 15 years. I opt for growing my own or purchasing them at my local farmer’s market when in season.
I try to use a big, juicy, almost over-ripe red or purple heirloom for this oven melted heirloom tomato soup. The slow heat for a lengthy amount of time brings out a complex sweetness that can only be obtained from those old-fashioned heirloom varieties — the old timers.
Oven-Melted Heirloom Tomato Soup
Prep time: 30-45 minutes
Cook time: 2-3 hours or overnight
Yield: 8-10 servings
Total THC/CBD: 55mg THC/55mg CBD + garnish
- chef's knife
- cutting board
- high-speed blender
- medium stock pot
- lined baking sheet
- soup bowls
- 3 lb miscellaneous organic heirloom tomatoes (cut in half around the equator)
- 1 large organic sweet onion (peeled, cut into 6 pieces)
- 8 cloves fresh organic garlic (peeled, crushed)
- 2 organic red bell peppers (cut in quarters and seeded)
- 1 large organic carrot (peeled, cut in 5 pieces)
- 1 tsp dry fennel seeds
- 1/4 cup organic extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup fresh organic basil leaves
- 2 quarts water (vegetable stock or chicken stock — use more if needed to thin soup)
- 1 tsp. chipotle adobo (the pureed contents of a can of chipotles in adobo)
- 2 tbsp. sea salt flakes
- 1 tsp. fresh cracked black pepper
- 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes (dry pack)
- 4 packages cannabis sugar (10mg CBD/10mg THC per packet)
- 3 tsp. pots d'huile THC/CBD olive oil (1 tsp= 5mg THC + 5mg CBD)
- Preheat the oven to 200°F.
- Lay the tomatoes on a lined baking sheet, cut side up with the garlic, onion, bell peppers, and carrot pieces.
- Sprinkle the veggies with some extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper to coat.
- Place in the oven for 2-3 hours (you can leave these vegetables in the oven overnight once you have turned the oven off after 2 hours).
- Once tomatoes and veggies are melted to your desired likeness, add them and their liquids to a medium stock pot with all of the remaining ingredients except for the ruby cannabis sugar and half of the basil.
- Simmer for 30-45 minutes.
- Remove soup from heat and let sit for 15 minutes.
- Add the remaining basil and the cannabis sugar.
- Puree the soup to your desired consistency (if you need to add a little bit more liquid, do so).
- Serve hot in soup bowls, garnished with a little of the cannabis olive oil or nasturtium cannabis leaf pesto.