Lake Norman Magazine

Good-bye Mr. Tomatountil next year, we shall met!

Summer tomatoes are gone, well almost, but not quite forgottenjust yet. There are still some pretty good tomatoes out there, but they are quite as juicy as they were a month ago. You should be finding, or picking off your plants, some green tomatoes that are great for frying, salsa’s or additions to cornbread breads or soups. (Check back here next week for a great green tomato recipe).The semi-ripe tomatoes that are available right now, and year around for the matter, are not good for a tomato sandwich, but are great to grill and make this awesomely delicious tomato soup.Loads of grilled tomatoes combined with grilled onions and red peppers make for an incredible combination. With the addition of some crispy bacon and crumbled goat cheese it is simply the best soup you will ever have.Give one a try and it is sure to end up in your recipe go-to file. Enjoy!Watch Chef Troy on Fox Charlotte’s - Fox News Rising morning show each and every Tuesday from 7-9 am. To contact Chef Troy email him at or visit his website at www.cheftroy.netGrilled Tomato & Bacon Soup w/ Goat Cheese & Basil Serves 4 to 6Step One:· 7 Pounds-Beefsteak Tomatoes-halved· 2 Large-Red Onions-peeled and halved· 3 Each-Red Bell Peppers-halved and deseeded· To Coat-Extra Virgin Olive Oil· To Taste-Chef Troy’s Spice Mix or kosher salt/black pepper· 1/2 Pound-Bacon-cut into thin strips, cooked, drained, set aside for garnish, reserve drippingStep Two:· 1 Bulb-Roasted Garlic-cut in half, drizzle with oil, season, bake in foil at 300, 1 hour· 5 Cups-Chicken Stock· 3 Tablespoons-Apple Cider Vinegar· 3 Tablespoons-Granulated SugarStep Three:· 1 1/2 Cups-Heavy Whipping Cream· 1/4 Cup-Fresh Basil-chopped, plus extra for garnish· 11 Ounces-Goat Cheese-crumbled, plus extra for garnish· To Taste-Cooked Bacon-reserved from step one for garnishStep One: Grilling the Vegetables:Preheat grill for direct heat-medium high heat. In separate mixing bowls toss the tomatoes, onions and red bell peppers with the olive oil and season generously with spice mix or salt/pepper.Grill each vegetable separately, tomatoes cut side down until slightly charred, flip and continue to cook until skin is loose enough to be pulled off the tomato with tongs, remove and set aside on a sheet tray. Grill onions cut side down until charred, flip and char, remove and set aside on sheet tray. Grill red bell peppers skin side down first until slightly charred, flip and continue to cook until softened, remove and set aside on sheet tray. Allow all vegetables to cool enough to handle.While vegetables are cooling cook bacon, reserve and measure the drippings and place dripping in a large stock pot. If dripping do not measure 1/2 cup add enough extra virgin olive oil to make up the difference. Step One Continued:If you have an emulsion blender (a hand held blender) rough chop all of the grilled vegetables. If not using an emulsion blender, rough chop vegetables and puree them in a blender or food processor until smooth. The food processor method tends to be quicker and more thorough. Step Two: Building the BaseWarm bacon dripping over medium high heat and add the purred (or rough chopped) vegetables with the roasted garlic to the stock pot. Cook the vegetables stirring frequently until warmed through about 7 minutes. Next add the chicken stock, vinegar, and sugar. Lower heat to medium or medium low and simmer for 45 minutes to one hour stirring frequently.If using an Emulsion blender puree the soup to a smooth consistency after simmering. Step: Three: Finishing the Soup:Stir in the heavy cream, goat cheese and fresh basil. Stir enough to melt the goat cheese. To serve place soup in bowls, top with extra crumbled goat cheese, chopped basil, reserved bacon. If desire oil and grill slices of French bread, rub with garlic and serve with soup.