Summer is here. For Floridians it’s easy to note: humidity and hurricanes. Lots of talk of both. What used to be a pleasant sit outside, to read, to walk, to lounge, suddenly becomes a friggin’ sauna. It’s okay. It’s all right. We Floridians are used to it. Or we are all transplanted New Yorkers and used to kvetching. Either way, it works.
But needless to say, summer brings on the glorious tomatoes. The little ones, big ones, ugly ones- you name it, we have it. I always feel a tad guilty eating just any old tomato. You have to be careful nowadays, resourceful. Make sure that baby is politically correct and not the byproduct of social injustice. Our tomatoes got bad rap for that reason in the past. So now I am diligent. I go to my local farmer’s market, or, I grow my own.
Those that know me know I curse everything I grow. Everything. Save for Lilly, my first baby, my lovely and sprawling Hibiscus plant. She loves me even if I sorely neglect her. She sprouts neon pink flowers everywhere, spewing her love over the fence to the neighbors, spreading her happiness uninvited. That’s Lilly. She’s been around for twelve years now and is here to stay.
Which is why I thought it wise to plant my cherry tomatoes next to her. Maybe she could impart some wisdom upon them on how best to survive Alona Martinez. Or at least a gentle word or two when things went south, or at very least a pretty pink flower for the damn dying tomatoes to look at.
But a funny thing happened: the tomato plant and Lilly became fast friends. And now there is a web of green, pink and red love tangled about in my back yard. Embraces of Hibiscus and tomato reign, sing, dance shamelessly in my garden; flourishing in my neglect, they have each other and each other seems to be all they need.
I am grateful for this cohabitation. And a tad selfish too. I am guilty of going out there and plucking the divine little round fruit of sunshine and claiming it mine. It is really not. It belongs to Lilly. But what is she going to do? Really? So I’ve become a bully of sorts, you could say. But I satiate any guilt by occasionally showering Lilly and her buddy with organic fertilizer. There. Some people repent with diamond earrings. I repent with fertilizer. Organic fertilizer.
Those little round bursts of sunshine soon add up, and combining them with my farmer’s market tomatoes makes for a killer tomato soup. Life isn’t whole without soup, particularly a lunch soup. Want to win my heart? Make me soup for lunch. It’s that simple. Really. So I am one step ahead of you and already on the go. Lilly and Tomato Plant (yet to be named) are much appreciated and have won my heart already with this delicious soup. Yum. And thank you.
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup chopped onion
2 pounds tomatoes, chopped (if cherry, just drop them in whole)
1 cup chicken stock
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon fresh dill
salt to taste
Sauté onion with olive oil until translucent, about five minutes.
Add tomato and sauté.
Add stock, sugar and salt, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for fifteen minutes.
Blend with hand blender.
Adjust seasoning. Add dill.