Posts Tagged With: heirloom

Sexy Tomatoes – The Tomato Stall

Sexy Tomatoes from The Tomato Stall

Sexy Tomatoes from The Tomato Stall

Every cook craves them, a sexy tomato stash!  Tomatoes can be the most wonderful ingredient on the planet or the most insipid, watery ball of red nonsense (aka most supermarket fodder).  Jane and I know our way around a tomato after spending plenty of time in Spain where we are surrounded by tomato plantations, normally growing toms for the Northern Europe market.

We have struggled in the early part of this year to get our hands on good produce and feel chuffed to have found the brilliant people at The Tomato Stall to supply us with fresh tomatoes; the most incredible oak smoked tomatoes and even a seriously kickin’ ginger chilli chutney.

The Tomato Stall have a wide range of products from ketchup to juice and I’ve chatted with Kelly over there at length about all things TOMS and they are seriously passionate about what  they do and the proof is in produce.  They grow many heirloom varieties, all additive free and mostly organic and all bursting with flavour and oh so juicy.

Beautiful bowl of Toms

Beautiful bowl of TOMS

We ate most of our bounty raw, like a box of chocolates, but way cooler.  There are so many colours; yellow, greens, speckled, vivid reds and even some they call black (more very dark green really).  The flavours of each variety were distinctly different; some sweeter, some more citrus; some meaty, some just exploded with juice.  With tomatoes like this it does seem a shame to cook them or tamper with the flavour, they are best served simply with maybe some extra virgin olive oil and a little sea salt.  That’s sounding like one of the worlds greatest salads!

We will be switching to local tomatoes when the crops come in (hopefully in a few weeks) but have no issues ordering tomatoes from the Isle of Wight when they are this wonderful (did we mention that the oak smoked tomatoes are one of the best things to pass our lips in a long time!)  Great tomatoes are so difficult to come by on this island and these are grown in Britain and not giant plastic plantations in Spain or Italy.

If you are struggling to get your hands on good tomatoes in the UK, let Kelly know and they’ll send some to a farm shop near you.

We love to have the opportunity to spread the good word of passionate food producers who are doing things properly.  If you are crazy about food and would like to send us a sample of your produce, we’ll taste them and let you know what we think.  We may even stick them on the Beach House Kitchen.

PS – Tomato a fruit or vegetable?  It seems obvious, but still a little room for debate.  Tomatoes just don’t quite go in a fruit salad!

Categories: B.H.K Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Black Prince Tomato & Coriander Soup (Raw)

Something like a Black Prince Tomato

These little toms are mind-blowingly tasty and light up this fabulous raw soup recipe.  We believe they are called Black Princes, but cannot be sure.  If they are Black Princes, they originated in Siberia but we picked them up from the wonderful John and Pippa in the small village of Bethel (a couple of valleys away). They are stunning tomatoes to look at, purple and dark green inside and mottled with emerald patches on the outside.  The most surprising thing about these tomatoes is that they have been grown organically in Wales (the land of the shy sun).  How is this possible?  I put it down to great expertise and poly tunnels, 20 years of growing experience also helps!  We are so very grateful to the brilliant Pippa and John for eeking out the best of the conditions of this, the wettest and worst summer on this grey island for over 100 years.  Can you imagine what they’d do in Spain!  Jane and I are almost addicted to these little gems, even scoffing them like popcorn whilst watching a samurai movie recently.

So whats all this about a Black Prince anyway? 

Well, the Black Prince (apart from just having the most epic name of any tomato we have encountered) is one of the most popular black tomatoes in the world (more dark green than black to be honest).  These toms are classed as an heirloom variety in the U.S. (see the foodie fact below) and have a wonderful deep, rich and fruity flavour.  The Black Prince is known as a ‘true Siberian tomato’, which makes it perfect for growing in cooler climates like our little grey island.

They say an Indian summer is coming to these parts, having experienced a couple of these myself in India, I am not sure that this is an accurate description of the potential weather situation.  We can however hope for some late summer sun which makes for a perfect raw soup climate.  But raw soups are not just for the summertime.

One of the things we both struggled to imagine prior to our month of raw food eating in June, was sitting down in front of our fire in mid-December, all wrapped up warm with thermals on and tucking into a cold soup with a salad.  We now know that this would work out just fine.  Although the temperature outside is chilly, the effect this kind of soup has on body and mind is seriously rejuvenating and they are absolutely jam packed full with the vitamins etc. that your body needs come the darker months.

This soup really does the black prince toms justice, it’s refreshing and not shy of a few flavours.  Whether you feel like sparkling some more, or are getting over a good old-fashioned beer garden adventure, this soup will get you zinging in all the right places.

Recipe Notes

The juice in the recipe replaces a traditional stock.  We have been experimenting with this juicy method and have had some brilliant results in mainly raw soups and stews.  No stock can live up to the vibrancy and freshness of a raw juice, especially for a chilled soup like this one.  We picked only the freshest flavours here and the combination of the tomatoes, peppers, oranges, chilli, coriander and ginger……well you can imagine!  With all those colours in a bowl, expect fireworks!

We like to use a little of the orange zest, it gives it even more pizzazz. The dates are essential to balance the saltiness of the miso.  You could use agave syrup or the like if you fancied, but there is something wonderful about adding dates to savoury food.  Avocado is perfect in soups, but does mean that it must be eaten within a day.  The avos add creaminess without the cream and are a great little raw food trick.

If you don’t own a juicer, just buy some fresh carrot juice instead.  You could also use the same quantity of water, but it would be slightly lacking.  You may also omit the sprouted mung beans and still produce a wonderful bowl of happiness, we just had a glut of them to hand.

Black Prince Tomatoes

This recipe is enough for two big bowlfuls with ample seconds.

The Bits

10 ripe black cherry tomatoes (or the best cherry tomatoes you can get your hands on)

3 ripe tomatoes (the bigger variety)

1 avocado

1 big handful mung bean sprouts

250ml carrot and celery juice (that’s roughly 4 large carrots and 1 stick celery)

1 big handful chopped coriander

1 yellow pepper (chopped)

1 tbsp flax oil (or good olive oil)

2 tsp miso paste

2 cm cube ginger (finely chopped)

1 clove garlic (mashed)

1/2 red chilli (or 1/2 teas chilli flakes)

Juice of 1 orange (with half the zest)

3 finely chopped dates

 

Do It

Make your juice first and then placed all ingredients in a food processor.  Blitz and add the juice gradually.  We think a minute or so is enough, maintain a few chunks, a longer blitz means a smoother soup.

Pre-blitz

Serve

Just not quite chilled and with a good handful of freshly chopped coriander (cilantro) as a topping and a scattering of sprouted mung beans.

We Love It!

Our favourite raw soup yet!!

Black Prince Cherry Tomato and Coriander Soup

Foodie Fact

In America ‘heirloom’ veggies are all the rage.  The Black Prince is an ‘heirloom’ fruit, which basically means that they are pure seeds and have not been touched by any GM crops.  At local markets in Britain, it is great to see people growing our indigenous varieties again, all mis-shapen and knobbly, with real flavours and textures.  Many people are single handedly keeping these varieties in existence and passing on these heirlooms to future generations.

Categories: Local food, Raw Food, Recipes, Soups, Summer, Vegan | Tags: , , , , , | 13 Comments

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