Oh, tomato soup. How I love thee. Served with a gooey grilled cheese sandwich, it's like a comforting hug for the soul. While canned tomato soup is certainly the fastest and easiest way to bring this treat to the table, it isn't always the healthiest one - excess sodium and preservatives are a few negatives that come to mind...
So, one cold and hungry evening, I decided to make my own homemade version. A neighbor of mine had recently told me about a recipe she had used with success. Why not, right? Nothing ventured, nothing gained...
To make a garden-to-table version of this recipe, I used frozen whole tomatoes saved from the cabin garden. After running them under hot water, the skins magically peel right off (pretty handy, huh?). My little helper is pointing out how slippery and naked they are without their skins. :) If you don't have frozen tomatoes, fresh will work just fine.
After de-skinning , I threw them frozen and whole right into the pot. After about 10 minutes, they melt down and can be broken apart. You can read more preserving and using frozen whole tomatoes here. It's a great way to add some summer freshness to cold weather soups, stews and more. Anywho....
The resulting homemade soup is nothing like the gelatinous-filled can we are more familiar with. This soup is bold. It's spicy. It's tangy. It's hearty. Another bonus? It's pretty easy to make with just a few ingredients in about 30 minutes. Of course, you have to serve this with a grilled cheese sandwich (is there really any other way to eat tomato soup?!) If you're feeling fancy, chop 'em into croutons and garnish with a sprig of fresh basil. Yum!
So, go on and treat your body a to a little comfort food (and a healthy boost of lycopene) with this soup. I promise you won't regret it. Be warned, though... you may never go back to the processed canned stuff.
Gooey and deliciously yours,
- 4 cups fresh/frozen tomatoes
- 2 TBS olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 4 cloves fresh garlic, chopped
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt (or to taste)
- 1/2 tsp fresh pepper (or to taste)
- 1 or 2 TBS balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 TBS butter
- 2 TBS flour
- Fresh basil (for garnish)
- Heat olive oil over medium heat. Sauté the garlic a few seconds until fragrant. Add the chopped onions and saute until tender. Toss in whole tomatoes (skins removed) and chicken stock. Bring to a boil. Add the sugar, salt, pepper, balsamic vinegar, and cayenne pepper. Simmer for about 20 minutes, breaking up the tomatoes as it cooks. Turn off the heat to cool slightly. Carefully puree with a submergible blender to desired consistency. In a separate sauce pan melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the flour to make a roux, cooking until browned slightly. Whisk the roux into the tomato mixture. Garnish with grilled cheese croutons and a sprig of fresh basil.