7.27.2012

Recipes by the Soup Goddess: Tomato Soup

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This is the first recipe in my new series, Recipes by the Soup Goddess! This tomato soup is like nothing you've ever tasted, especially if you grew up on Campbell's. Seasoned with loads of fresh basil and chock full of nutrients, it's totally worth the effort of peeling and seeding fresh tomatoes from your garden. 

We like to serve it with pesto grilled cheese sandwiches, made with homemade pesto that we froze last summer in ice cube trays.

The makings of a great grilled cheese: sprouted bread, fancy cheese, and a cube of pesto from the freezer.

It makes a big Dutch oven full: enough to eat, share, and have leftovers! (We like to freeze the leftovers for a summery treat in the dead of winter.)

Tips for Success from the Soup Goddess

1. Fresh basil is key. Don't be shy!
2. Blend to the thickness you like. She likes hers a bit chunky.
3. Freshly grated Parmesan sprinkled on top is The Upgrade. (She always has an Upgrade.) She likes to grate hers on a microplane.
4. As always, remember this Soup Goddess secret: "Taste, sprinkle, taste, sprinkle, taste."
The cheese oozing out the bottom is Dill Havarti.

Best-Ever Tomato Soup  

Original Recipe by Sara Moulton, amended and upgraded by Linda Leeman

Ingredients:
  • 4 T. butter
  • a splash of olive oil
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 1 onion (medium or large), diced
  • 3 carrots, finely diced
  • ¼ c. flour (I've used all-purpose, but I bet sprouted would work well)
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 6 lbs fresh tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped (details below)
  • 2 (28 oz.) cans pureed tomatoes, or more fresh tomatoes
  • 1 small can of tomato paste
  • 4 c. homemade chicken broth
  • 4 t. fresh thyme leaves (or 1-2 t. dry)
  • 2 T. fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 c. light cream or whole milk
  • freshly grated Parmesan, for garnish
Directions:
1. To peel and seed the tomatoes, fill a large pot halfway full with water. Bring it to a boil, and carefully place the tomatoes in the pot. Remove from the water with a slotted spoon after less than a minute, or when you see some of the skins starting to break or wrinkle. Drain in a colander, and let cool. Slip the skins off, cut off the stem end with a serrated knife. Slice in half and remove the seeds, either by squeezing or scoping them out with your finger. Chop coarsely.
2. Melt the butter and olive oil in a Dutch oven or other large pot. Add the onion and carrot and cook over medium heat until almost tender. Add the garlic and continue cooking a few more minutes.   
3. Add the flour and cook, stirring, 1-2 minutes. Do not allow to brown. 
4. Add seeded and peeled tomatoes, canned tomatoes (if using), tomato paste, chicken broth, and salt and pepper to taste. 
5. Simmer, stirring every few minutes, for 30 minutes or longer (the longer it simmers the better it tastes). Halfway through simmering, add the fresh thyme. Toward the end of simmering, add the fresh basil. Taste and adjust the seasonings.
6.  Puree the soup (preferably with an immersion blender to avoid extra dishes and potentially squirting soup all over the kitchen!). The Soup Goddess prefers hers a little bit chunky.
7. Add the cream or milk and heat on low for a few minutes, tasting to adjust the seasonings one last time.
8. Serve with a sprinkle of freshly grated Parmesan and a grilled cheese sandwich.

A Few Notes

The last time I made this,  I used tomatoes I had frozen whole last summer. Did you know you could do that? When they thaw, the skins slip right off and you can cut and seed them as normal. It actually saves a step - you don't have to boil them first.

(My next contribution to Modern Alternative Kitchen is a post on Lazy Freezing Techniques like this one! Be sure to subscribe over there so you don't miss out!)


Tomatoes frozen whole with skins. Who knew!?
I also made use of my crock pot last time I made this. We were having some friends over for lunch after church on Sunday, so I went as far as step 4 above the night before, on the stovetop. Then I plopped the contents of the pot into my crock pot insert and stuck it in the fridge. In the morning before church, I turned it on high and it simmered for about three hours. When we got home I added the fresh basil and cream, pureed it, and seasoned to taste. It may have been my best batch ever!

Does it get any better than this?
 

4 comments:

  1. Thank you for the recipe. I'll make it this afternoon. I have so many tomatoes ripening in the garden, I don't know what to do with all of them.

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    Replies
    1. Awesome, let me know how it turns out!

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  2. I made this tonight and it came out great! I did just notice now it says it uses chicken broth but I didn't see a step to add it so I didn't.

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    Replies
    1. Jess, I'm so glad you liked it! Thanks for catching my mistake with the chicken broth - I've fixed it now. But good to know that it turns out great even without it! :)

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