|Tomato soup made from fresh garden tomatoes and sweet Vidalia onions. It's a light meal even on a hot summer day.|
Fresh Tomato SoupI threw this Homemade Fresh Tomato Soup together recently and was just thrilled with the results. I'm not one to knock the red and white can of Campbell's tomato soup, because that is what I grew up on and have fond memories of - and it'll always have a place in my pantry. This homemade version is sure a nice change of pace when you want something a little more homemade however, and the flavor is just outstanding because it comes from fresh tomatoes.
When I talk about large tomatoes here in the ingredient list, I'm talking about the huge, heavy tomatoes of summer, one of which will literally spill over in the palm of your hand. If the tomatoes you are using are much smaller, you'll have to double or even triple them. You can also leave the soup chunky if you prefer, but I pureed it using an immersion blender. If you don't have one of these kitchen tools, they are mighty handy, especially with hot soups and sauces, but you can also very carefully transfer the soup to a food processor or blender in batches to puree it. Add a nice sandwich, like this pepperoni grilled cheese, and you have one fine meal right here!
Recipe: Homemade Fresh Tomato Soup©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min |Cook time: 30 min | Yield: About 4 to 6 servings
- 6 extra large tomatoes, peeled and chopped (or substitute equivalent canned)
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 cup of chopped Vidalia, sweet or yellow onion
- 1 stalk of celery, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
- 1 can of Rotel diced tomatoes, drained
- 2 cups of chicken stock
- 2-3 tablespoons of brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons of kosher salt
- 10 turns of the pepper grinder
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- Heavy cream, to garnish
- Shredded cheese, to garnish
- Chopped fresh basil, to garnish
Remove the skins of the tomatoes and chop, reserving any juices. Heat olive oil in a stock pot and add the onion and celery. Saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook another minute. Add the tomato paste; cook and stir 5 minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes with their juices, Rotel, chicken stock, brown sugar, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for at least 30 minutes, or longer. Use an immersion blender, food processor, or blender to puree, if desired. Add butter, stir until incorporated, taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Garnish as desired.
Cream of Tomato Soup Variation: Add in 1/2 cup of heavy cream to soup pot, heat through, garnish and serve.
Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Soup: Substitute 2 medium red bell peppers for 1 of the large tomatoes. To roast, place peppers under the broiler on your oven, or place over an open flame, turning until blistered. Transfer to a zippered bag or set on a plate covered with a clean dish towel to steam for at least 5 minutes. Halve, peeling off the skins, discarding any seeds and membrane, slice and dice. May also combine one can of San Marzano's with a (12 ounce) jar of drained roasted red peppers, and a small jar of sun dried tomatoes for a great flavor boost.
Grilled Cheese Croutons: For a change, add your grilled cheese sandwich in your soup as croutons. Use a thick sliced bread, at least 1/2 inch thick. Prepare two sandwiches as usual, except use a sandwich press or panini maker to cook and press the sandwiches. Cook until browned, let rest for 5 minutes and cut into 1 inch cubes. Garnish each serving with the cubes.
Cook's Notes: This soup can also be made by substituting 2 large (28 ounce) canned Italian style, San Marzano whole tomatoes, when fresh aren't at peak, but do try to use fairly fresh cans, as older ones that have been sitting around the pantry for awhile tend to have a metallic taste to them. You can sometimes counter that taste by adding a bit of baking soda (1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon) to the soup, or try squeezing in a bit of fresh lemon juice. This is also a great place to use slow roasted tomatoes. For a more substantial meal, add in a package of refrigerated pasta, like tortellini, ravioli, tortelloni, or gnocchi.
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