8 Beefsteak Tomatoes, medium size, about 3 1/2 pounds 1 Shallot, or 1/2 of a jumbo one 5 Cloves Garlic, fat ones 4 Sprigs Fresh Thyme 2 Tbs. Olive Oil 1/4 tsp. Crushed Red Pepper, or more if you like 1/2 Cup White Wine 8 Basil Leaves, fresh 1 Tbs. Red Vinegar 1/2 tsp. Salt
When tomatoes are cool enough to handle, just pull off the skin.
Some people plunge the hot tomatoes into ice water but I don't think it is nessacery.
Cut the tomatoes in half.
Use your hands to squeeze out as many of the seeds as you can.
Be sure to squeeze over a strainer.
You want to save the juice & discard the seeds.
Cut all of the tomatoes into a half in dice.
Place tomatoes into bowl with the tomato juice.
Peel garlic and shallot.
Place both onto a cutting board and start chopping them together.
Keep chopping until garlic and shallots are pretty well minced.
You really don't want any large pieces.
Empty water out of the pot.
Be careful because it is still very hot.
Dry the pot and place back onto the stove.
Add garlic-shallot mix, thyme, & pepper to the pot.
Save the wine for later in the recipe.
Add oil to the pot and turn heat to medium.
Gently cook and stir the ingredients for a minute or two, just to cook the rawness out of the garlic and shallots.
You do not want to fry and sizzle the ingredients over high heat as this will create a burnt flavor that will permeate the soup or sauce.
When garlic-shallot mix is slightly cooked, add the wine to the pot.
Let the wine gently cook and reduce for a few minutes.
Add the tomatoes and juice to the pot.
Bring ingredients to a medium simmer and let simmer, uncovered, for 40 minuets.
You can stir the ingredients every few minutes.
Rinse and dry your fresh basil.
Tear the leaves into small pieces.
After 40 minutes you can add the basil, salt and vinegar to the pot.
Mix ingredients together and let simmer for 20 minutes.
Total simmering time is about one hour.
Stir pot a few times; pluck out and discard the thyme stems.
You can pull off any thyme leaves that are still attached and toss them back into the pot.
If you wish to enjoy this recipe as a soup, just puree everything together in a blender and serve.
To turn this recipe into the marinara sauce:
Remove half of the tomatoes from the pot, around 3 cups, and puree them in the blended as seen in the photo above.
Place the pot with the remaining tomatoes over high heat.
Boil and stir the tomatoes until almost all of the liquid have evaporated and the tomatoes start to thicken.
Pour the tomato puree from the blender over the reduced tomatoes.
Mix together and cook for another minute or so.
Marinara sauce is now ready.
New Taste Thinking:
I found these wonderful beefsteak tomatoes in the soup and salsa pile at the farmers market. Instead of throwing these slightly over-ripe tomatoes into the trash, as is done in most grocery stores, the farmers prefer to sell them at a fraction of the price. Keep an eye out for these kinds of items because it is obviously good for everyone. I recently read an article that claimed 40% of the food grown in this country is waisted.