Summer in Greece and August is here so have a great month everyone!
147 days till Christmas and if that seems far away just think that in just 4 weeks we will be in Autumn! Sure time flies but a bit too fast I think lately!
So far though people are going away on vacation and who ever stays in the city because of work or lack of money or time or both we are all spending those hot summer days in the garden or in the terrace or our little balcony.
What we are waiting for is for the wonderful time to go downtown Athens and take a picture crossing a once busy street and tell the world how great it is to be in a ghost town in the middle of summer.
And because we are cooking for us, for our friends and our clients I will talk to you about a new soup I made to give to our guests, one soup that really has the essence of summer inside. It all started for medical reasons, as I have to remove the skin and seeds from the tomatoes.
So I would strain this liquid and mop it up with some good and fresh bread. And the question came to my mind about preserving this wonderful taste and in a form that could feed many people.
And then I thought about a wonderful Italian winter soup called Ribolita that it is made with beans, cabbage and bread... and because they reboil it with the bread inside they call it ribolita.. So I wondered if they make such a soup with tomatoes and bread and I found out that they do in the south of France and found an old recipe.
I tweaked it a bit and here it is! Will be sharing it with you today! It is a bit time consuming but trust me and give it a try! Also it is great as you could keep it in the freezer in it's earlier stage and soon you could have a great meal to feed to your guests...
We accompany the soup with some basil pesto and some fresh goat cheese..
Last weekend we went up to Sinevro, a village in the mountains of Achaia which I adore and I know very well as I had a country home there for years.
I learnt about the village from my friend Andonis Skordilis who I will tell you about in another post.
I will also write about the village in another separate post and about another friend there who has a magical place in the same village. It’s generally an enchanting place but that is not today’s theme.
At the country home of Andonis when we arrived, he gave us a tomato sauce to try that he had prepared from a variety of tomatoes which I knew well, the Brandywine variety.
It is a very old variety, thin skinned with a wonderful taste, firm flesh, only a few seeds and very meaty.
It is like another variety called Batales, another wonderful variety which they cultivate in Vraurona.
I asked where he found the tomatoes after trying the sauce which was, by the way, stunning.
In Akrata (a seaside town below the mountain) he told me- a grocers next to the supermarket Vassilopoulou…they were hydroponically grown and very tasty.
Returning to Athens later that same day, not to miss the opportunity, I stopped at the grocers and bought some.
The next day I was at the supermarket back in Athens getting a few things because we had guests for dinner..and there I saw some wonderful black tomatoes with a special name. Marmande is their name and they are from an old spore which looks like the Kirim black tomatoes which are well known from the Crimean peninsular.
As my friend Kali said as well who has tried them, they are sweet but they don’t have much taste. And that is completely logical considering the time of year, on the other hand in order to have a sweet tomato at this time of year is important…
It makes you long for the summer when the tomatoes are in the local markets and you enjoy eating them with only a little salt on them.
It made me think of two things…when the time comes to prepare the vegetable patch in the garden and I plant some tomatoes and secondly what am I going to do with all theses tomatoes….
One idea is a lovely tart which shows off the wonderful colours and the other is to make a sauce.