We live out in the country wedged between the mighty Fraser River a few minutes walk  north of us and the Pacific Ocean a short drive to the west.   This enviable location does come with a problem.  A micro-climate with ground fog rolling across the farm lands and over my tomato plants.

There is a secret to growing tomatoes in this will-of-the-wisp summer.   You plant them in big black plastic nursery pots. Then position these pots against a south wall preferably with a large overhanging roof.  If you are fortunate this will give the tomatoes some protection from the heavy dew and ground fog.

The only supermarket tomatoes I buy are  Campari tomatoes. Eight small tomatoes in a precious plastic box.  They have real,  honest-to- goodness tomato flavour. I harvested seeds from these tomatoes.  Early spring I started them indoors and then transplanted the strongest into pots.    I ended up with six rather straggly plants left over and no more pots. Off to the compost heap with them.  Until my good husband rescued them and planted them in the garden.  They grew.  They grew, and grew and produced tomatoes.   Better tomatoes then the plants coddled in protective pots.

The summer was unique.  We had months and months of nothing but sun.  The plants in the garden loved the heat.  Not so the tomatoes planted in the pots.  Day after day I would harvest the garden grown tomatoes.   A couple of pounds of these dazzling red darlings filling my basket.  The final one day harvesting of the Campari tomato plants netted over forty pounds.  All from six spindly almost thrown-away plants!

This was the summer of enjoying tomatoes every day.  Tomato, bacon and lettuce sandwiches (vegetables from the garden and our own bacon) – divine.  Tomatoes baked in cream with thyme – sublime.  And then tomato soup.  Tomato soup so superb you’ll never go back to your old recipe.    One big roasting pan filled with tomatoes, shallots, garlic, carrots, onion and the zinger – jalapeno chile.  You roast it.  Puree and then eat.  FIERY ROASTED TOMATO SOUP – it just doesn’t get any better.




  1. Oh…………I dare say anything and everything you prepare is firery, my dear…… is in your nature. Your passion, your zest and your love of life transfers to everything you touch and everyone around you. Each time I read your blog my heart beats a little bit faster. YOU are an amazing woman. Good for Lar for rescuing the tomatoes. You two are pure delight.

    • Darling Tinny. You recognized the reason for the dissertation on tomatoes. It was about Lar not wanting to cast aside the plants. They had been growing in the sunny window of my atelier and had become part of who we are. They rewarded us in the most magnificent manner. Like the putti I was taking to the thrift shop. But that is another story.

  2. Perfect! I am already thinking soups for cooler weather. How wonderful to have harvested forty pounds of your own tomatoes! And fortunate for you that husband rescued the orphans. You were blessed with sun and tomatoes! I can almost taste your divine soup – just lovely! All the best to you for the coming holidays.

    • Jo Nell making this soup is like making magic. You just toss the vegetables into the largest pan you have and pop them in the oven. They smell divine when they are roasting. I made a lot of this soup during the summer. Happy Holidays to you.

    • Miss T. I had this paper mache putti that over years I had painted terracotta, sprayed gold and goodness knows what else. I thought it was time I took it back to the Thrift Shop (where I had originally purchased it as a plain brown paper putti). I had loaded the station wagon with boxes of things to be donated and put the putti on top. When we got to the thrift shop Lar started to unload the boxes and spotted the little darling. He asked me what I was doing with it. “Donating it”, I said. “No angels ever leave our house,” he replied. So back in the car went the putti, and when I redecorated my en suite bathroom I hung it on the wall. It will never leave.

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