Back in the late ’90s, before I cooked for a living, I used to scratch that itch by cooking for friends. I hosted a weekly Monday-night soup party at my apartment in Lawrenceville. A group of folks would gather, bringing salads, breads and drinks, to pair with the soups I would put together from what I had available. We’d fill up and then head to Arsenal Lanes for karaoke.
A few years ago I moved to a house in Larimer and brought back the soup party, minus the karaoke, but with the addition of a giant garden from which to create. This recipe for the end-of-summer green-tomato bounty was a big hit. I spend my workdays in the kitchen now, but I still feel happiest sharing soup, bread, drinks and conversation with friends.
- 3 tbsp. vegan margarine
- 3 tbsp. ginger, minced
- 3 tbsp. curry powder (Jamaican-style, if possible)
- 2 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp. cloves (powder)
- 2 onions, chopped
- 3 pounds green tomatoes, cored and chopped (skins and seeds are OK)
- 13.5-14 oz. can coconut milk
- 2 tsp. salt (or to taste)
- 3 tbsp. brown sugar (or to taste)
Melt the margarine in heavy-bottom stockpot over medium heat. Stir in the ginger, curry powder, pepper flakes and cloves to make a paste. Toast for a few seconds, then add the onions and stir to coat. Cook the onions until soft, about 5 minutes. Add chopped tomatoes and set on low flame. Cook down, about 20 minutes. If mixture seems to get dry, add a little water. Stir occasionally. When tomatoes are broken down, take off flame and mix in coconut milk and salt. Puree with an immersion blender until smooth. Stir in salt and brown sugar, to taste. It may need more brown sugar depending on how sour your green tomatoes are, and salt is a matter of personal taste. Enjoy with friends! Serves six to eight.
Sheryl Johnston, of Larimer, currently cooks at Conflict Kitchen, in Oakland, and spent 10 years as a cook at the former Quiet Storm.