Colorado has 53 peaks that reach to 14,000 feet above sea level but up until this week I haven't summited a single one. This has been on purpose, for the most part: hiking has never really been my thing, and when I discovered I had a stress injury in my foot from running, I thought I would have to retire the idea of long hikes (and runs) for good.
But then I had one of those days where I just wanted to be outside, in the thin air. You know the feeling: an ache for adventure. That's when my roommate started talking about doing a 14er called Mount Bierstadt, which is known for being one of the more approachable peaks in Colorado. I surprised even myself when I said I wanted to join. We packed up our bags and prepped for an early departure the next morning.
The trailhead is above tree line, so even before you start hiking the air is thin and the scenery is alpine in nature. You actually start hiking downhill which had me worried from the get go (thinking, I'll have to hike up this hill when I'm done and tired!) but then the heavy lifting starts quickly. We kept up a quick pace and summited two hours later! It was easier than I expected. My legs continued to move out of muscle memory, but I knew as soon as I stopped they'd become heavy. We had a quick snack, and then headed back down.
Back at the car, cold drinks were our reward. Back home, a real meal and some well-deserved couch time (it was Game of Thornes night, and we couldn't skip that!)
This soup: I grew only cherry tomato plants this summer, because I love them so. I find they give great output. This soup is perfect for rainy fall days when the tomatoes are copious and weather allows you to turn the oven on to roast a few tomatoes.
Serves: 2 | Total Time: 30 minutes
- 5 cups cherry tomatoes, assorted
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon avocado oil
- 1/3 cup cream
- 2 tablespoons shredded parmesan or 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast, plus more for garnish
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Dash cayenne or red pepper flakes
- 3 sprigs basil, plus more for garnish
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Place tomatoes in bowl with minced garlic and drizzle with oil. Toss until all tomatoes are coated in oil. Spread out on sheet pan. Place in oven, and roast for 15-20 minutes, until the skins are just starting to turn brown. Remove from oven.
- Scrape tomatoes into the jar of a blender. Add cream, parmesan or nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, cayenne, and basil. Puree until few chunks remain. Pour into serving bowls.
- Top soup with extra cheese and basil. Serve hot.