It's not tomato season yet. But it is the season to plant tomatoes.
And that's what the Carrboro Farmers' Market will be celebrating on April 27 during its annual Kid's Seedling Event. Starting at 8:30 a.m., April 27, the market will give away farmer-grown tomato seedlings to kids.
The seedlings were planted especially for children and come in all kinds of varieties - from sungolds and big beefs to the tasty and fun heirloom favorites such as cherokee purples and mortgage lifters (yes, we're still talking about tomatoes). Kids will get a chance to pick their plant and meet the farmer who donated it.
As part of the event, Fifth Season Gardening Company will provide organic potting soil for the pots, along with growing tips and information for new gardeners. Kidzu Children's Museum and market volunteers will help out with kid-friendly gardening and art activities.
This popular event comes the same weekend as the Carolina Farm Stewardship Piedmont Farm Tour, a great opportunity for families to tour local farms and learn more about where our food comes from. Some farms have special activities for kids and also sell products.
So, to get you ready for tomato season, the market shared this recipe featuring tomatoes and peaches. It's perfect for a hot summer day.
Chilled Tomato and Peach Soup
Recipe provided by Sheri Castle
Makes 4 to 6 servings
1 1/2 pounds tomatoes
1 1/4 pounds ripe peaches
2 jalapeños or other chiles, or to taste
2 tablespoons white balsamic or rice vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped shallot or sweet onion
2 tablespoons excellent fruity olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, plus more for garnish
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
1/2 teaspoon black pepper or to taste
1/4 to 1/2 cup water, as needed
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1. You will need 1 cup finely diced tomatoes, 1 cup finely diced peaches, and one of the jalapeños to make a relish for garnish, so set aside enough whole tomatoes and peaches to make it.
2. Core the remaining tomatoes and cut them in half crosswise. Discard any pockets of green gloppy seeds. Coarsely chop the tomatoes and place them in a blender. Peel, pit, and coarsely chop the peaches and add them to the blender. Coarsely chop the remaining jalapeño and add it to the blender. Add the vinegar, shallot, olive oil, basil, salt and pepper. Purée until very smooth; be patient, this can take up to 2 minutes. If the mixture is too thick, add a little water to get it moving. Strain the purée through a fine sieve into a large bowl or jar. Cover and refrigerate until well-chilled, at least overnight, or longer.
3. Just before serving, finely dice the reserved tomatoes, peaches, and jalapeño. Place in a small bowl and toss with the lemon juice and about 1 tablespoon thinly sliced basil. Season with salt and pepper.
4. To serve, check the seasoning and then ladle the soup into shallow bowls. Spoon a little of the tomato and peach relish into the center and serve straightaway.
Note: To transform this soup into a light entrée or first course, place a few well-seasoned cooked shrimp in the bowl when you add the relish.
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