Mom's tomato soup
At the end of every summer, my mom would make giant batches of this simple 5 ingredient tomato soup with vegetables from her garden and can dozens of jars for winter. After I moved too far away to steal some from her pantry I learned how to make it myself.
It’s best with fresh tomatoes, but I’ve made it many times from canned tomatoes with great success. The key is getting the ratio of vegetables right, so it’s one recipe I follow to the letter.
You'll be eating in: 3 hours
Active time: 30 minutes
Yield: 2 quarts
pounds fresh tomatoes (about 2 quarts) or 2 (28 ounce) canned whole peeled tomatoes
tablespoon olive oil
- 1 1/2
cups onion, chopped (1 medium-large onion)
cup celery, chopped (about 3 stalks)
cup red bell pepper, chopped (1 large)
cup carrot, peeled and diced (1 medium or about 3 ounces)
teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
Roast and peel the tomatoes
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Core and halve the tomatoes. Arrange cut side down on a sheet pan and roast for about 45 minutes, until the skins start to blister. Remove skins (save for tomato powder), they will separate easily.
Roughly chop the onion, celery, red bell pepper and carrot. These will all get blended later so it does not have to be precise.
Sauté the vegetables
Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to a large stock pot or dutch oven. Add all of the vegetables and 1 teaspoon salt and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until soft but not browned, about 10 minutes.
Add roasted, peeled tomatoes (or canned tomatoes) and all of their juices to the pot. Cover and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occassionally and adding additional water to cover if needed.
Puree with an immersion blender (or transfer to a blender and blend) until completely smooth. Add additional water to reach desired consistency (amount depends on the juiciness of your tomatoes and if you added any during the simmer). Season with additional salt to taste.
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Roasting the fresh tomatoes is an extra step I do to concentrate flavor and make them easy to peel. You could peel the tomatoes with another method, like poaching them.
The ideal method for processing this soup is by using a food mill, so if you have one (I, alas, do not) you can skip the roasting and peeling tomatoes step and process all of the softened veggies through the mill.
The variations on this soup are endless, but the base is so delicious that I rarely mess with it. My favorite alternatives include:
1) Basil: Add a large sprig of basil with the tomatoes and simmer, removing before blending.
2) Use it as a base for... pizza sauce (add tomato paste, oregano, red pepper flakes) or marinara (add garlic, tomato paste, fennel seed, oregano).
3) ...your excuse to eat grilled cheese.
This soup freezes well for up to 3 months. It's also a great candidate for canning if you have the supplies.