We are getting very close to getting our tomato surplus under control. It was bad for a while. Tragic even. There were tomatoes that were thrown away. There were times when I thought, “I don’t ever want to see another tomato.” There were times I thought about not watering our tomato plants for hope they’d stop producing.
(Remind me of this post in January when I’m craving a caprese salad with fresh tomatoes and basil so badly that it sends me into a week-long depression.)
I’ve preserved my tomato surplus by canning them whole, in salsa and other fun concoctions in summer’s past. But this summer, I can’t even fathom tossing another to-do on my TeuxDeux list. So we’ve powered through them without the use of Mason jars. And I finally think we have a handle on it. Thanks to this big batch of fresh tomato soup, we now have a normal amount of tomatoes on our kitchen table (whatever that may be) and just enough tomatoes left on our vines to get us through the rest of the season.
I am relieved.
Even if you aren’t knee-deep in tomatoes, I’d recommend whipping up a batch of fresh tomato soup before the tomato plants stop producing. I know it seems counter-intuitive (just like summer chili) at the end of August, but fresh tomato soup is so light, bright and comforting that I feel like it is appropriate in all seasons. Plus, ’round here, the temps have been dropping cool enough in the evening that I’ve been pulling on Babyface’s sweatshirts. Basically, it is the perfect time to make some tomato soup.
I’m not here to be all-up in your kitchen bidness, but you might as well pull out the skillet at the same time you pull out the stock pot. Because you best be making a gooey, crunchy grilled cheese as this soup simmers. Grilled cheese and tomato soup were made for each other. Don’t be a home-wrecker, k?
Garden Fresh Tomato Soup
I used all different varieties, colors, shapes and sizes of tomatoes just to plow through my surplus. Feel free to use all one kind if that’s all you have on hand. I used an immersion blender to get the smooth texture, but if you don’t have one, go out and buy one. Seriously, one of my favorite kitchen appliances! Okay, if you still don’t have one, blend the soup in batches in your blender with the vent covered with a kitchen towel to release steam. Also, if you are looking for a perfectly smooth soup, be sure to peel and seed the tomatoes before cooking. I am entirely too lazy for that bullhockey, so I toss the tomatoes in with skin, seeds and all.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 cups broth (chicken, beef, veggie, whatever!)
- 6-7 cups roughly chopped tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/4 cup milk
- Add olive oil to a large stock pot over medium heat, add onion and garlic and cook until translucent and soft, about 7 minutes.
- Add butter and melt. Whisk in flour until onions and garlic are well coated. Continue cooking for 1 minute.
- Whisk in broth. Add tomatoes, vinegar, basil, celery seed, paprika, salt and pepper.
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until tomatoes have cooked down.
- Remove from heat, stir in milk.
- Carefully blend the soup with an immersion blender until completely smooth and delectable.
What’s your favorite way to top tomato soup?
I like a big pile of feta (as you can see) and a sprinkle of chives (which we didn’t have).