Soup, Pasta And Tartine: How To Properly Take Advantage Of Tomato Season

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Linguine with roasted cherry tomatoes and garlic, fresh tomatoes, pine nuts and herbs. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Linguine with roasted cherry tomatoes and garlic, fresh tomatoes, pine nuts and herbs. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

It's tomato season, and Here & Now resident chef Kathy Gunst (@mainecook) has three recipes to share with hosts Jeremy Hobson and Robin Young that make full use of the plant: tomato soup, tomato and peach tartine and her go-to tomato and pasta dish.

Tomato and Leek Soup with Basil Cream

Tomato and leek soup with basil cream. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Tomato and leek soup with basil cream. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Use as many different varieties of tomatoes as you can find to make this soothing, comforting soup. Depending on the weather, the soup can be served chilled or hot. It can also be made several days ahead of time or frozen for up to three months. Serve with grilled baguette slices or toast and a mixed green salad.

Serves 6.


The Soup:

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 medium leeks, white and pale-green sections only, sliced lengthwise, cleaned and then chopped (don’t throw away the dark green section; they’re great for stock)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped or sliced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 1/2 pounds tomatoes, many varieties is best
  • 5 cups chicken or vegetable stock (low-sodium if using boxed stock)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

The Basil Cream:

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, plus 1/4 cup thinly sliced basil for garnish
  • Freshly ground pepper


  1. In a large soup pot, heat the oil and butter over low heat. When the butter is melted, add the leeks, onion, salt and pepper, and cook, stirring, for 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a pot of water over high heat. Fill a large bowl with ice-cold water. When the water is boiling, drop a few tomatoes at a time into the hot water for about 1 minute. Remove with a slotted spoon and place immediately in the ice cold water. Remove with slotted spoon and remove peel — the hot and then cold water should cause the peel to slip right off. Core, and then chop the tomatoes.
  3. Add the chopped, peeled tomatoes to the leeks and onions and add half the basil. Stir and cook for 5 minutes. Raise the heat to high and add the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, partially cover and cook for 15 minutes. Add the remaining basil and taste for seasoning.
  4. Remove the soup and puree in a food processor, blender or using a hand-held immersion blender. Again, taste for seasoning. If the soup seems thin, bring it to a rapid simmer over moderately high heat for 10 minutes or so, or until slightly thickened.
  5. To make the basil cream, in a medium saucepan, heat the cream, 1/2 cup basil leaves and pepper over low heat for about 6 minutes, or until just simmering. Remove from heat and let steep for another 5 minutes. Strain the cream into a bowl.
  6. Drizzle a touch of the cream and thinly sliced basil on top of each bowl of soup.

Tomato and Peach Tartine

Tomato and peach tartine. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Tomato and peach tartine. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

The light is fading. Days are getting shorter. But there’s still plenty of summer and summer food to celebrate. This simple breakfast, lunch, snack or dinner honors the best of the season’s tomatoes and stone fruit.

Serves 2.


  • 2 slices bread, your favorite type
  • 3 tablespoons soft goat cheese, cream cheese or soft feta
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs, like basil, rosemary thyme, chives
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium ripe tomato, thinly sliced
  • 1 ripe peach or 2 small plums, pitted and thinly sliced
  • Edible flowers, optional


  1. Lightly toast the bread.
  2. In a small bowl, mash the cheese with the oil and herbs, salt and pepper.
  3. Spread the cheese-herb mixture on the toasts. Place the tomatoes and peach (or plum) slices on the toast, alternating slices. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with flowers, if you like.

Linguine with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and Garlic, Fresh Tomatoes, Pine Nuts and Herbs

This is my go-to weeknight pasta dish during tomato season. It takes less than 30 minutes to put together. (If you pre-roast the tomatoes and garlic, you’ll be done in the time it takes to boil pasta.) Sweet roasted cherry tomatoes are mixed with fresh chopped tomatoes, basil, roasted garlic and olive oil. Add a flurry of grated Parmesan and pepper, and you’re all set.

Serves 4.


  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 1 head garlic, with 1/8-inch cut off the top
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, half thinly sliced and half coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 1 pound linguine
  • 1 large ripe tomato or 2 medium, cored and coarsely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • About 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Place the tomatoes and garlic in a small ovenproof skillet and cover with half the oil. Season with salt, pepper and 1 tablespoon of the thinly sliced basil. Roast for about 20 minutes, or until the garlic feels softened and the tomatoes are soft. Remove from heat. Remove the garlic and squeeze the garlic out of the skin. Add the garlic back to the pan with the tomatoes and oil.
  2. Place the pine nuts in a small ovenproof skillet and toast for about 8 to 10 minutes while the tomatoes roast.
  3. Meanwhile, heat a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook the linguine or spaghetti according to the directions of the package. Drain.
  4. Place the remaining oil in to the bottom of a large serving bowl or plate. Add the drained pasta. Top with the roasted tomatoes and roasted garlic. Top with the raw tomatoes and sprinkle with the grated Parmesan and the toasted pine nuts. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the remaining basil on top and toss.

Want more of Kathy's tomato recipes? Read here

This segment aired on September 3, 2019.


Headshot of Kathy Gunst

Kathy Gunst Resident Chef, Here & Now
Kathy Gunst is a James Beard Award-winning journalist and the author of 15 cookbooks.



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