How to Make Fresh Tomato Soup
There comes a time in the lifespan of every summer garden when the gardener has the delicious dilemma of what to do with a bounty of fresh tomatoes, all ripe at the same time. Besides making sauce, eating endless plates of Caprese salad, and freezing the tomatoes for later use, I like to make a fresh tomato soup. It may be a very simple recipe but it’s also incredibly tasty and satisfying, especially when served with a gooey grilled cheese sandwich or macaroni and cheese.
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Homemade Fresh Tomato Soup
- 2 cups chopped carrots
- 2 cups chopped celery
- 3 cups diced onions
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 12 cups chopped fresh tomatoes
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 cups water or chicken stock
- 2 Tbsp kosher salt
- 2 tsp. sugar
- Rough chop all the vegetables. It doesn’t matter what they look like because the soup will be blended later, but make sure the carrots, onions and celery are all about the same size so they cook at the same rate.
- In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil. Add in the carrots, celery and onions and cook until the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Add in the garlic and cook another 5 minutes, but don’t let the vegetables brown. Add in the tomatoes and water or chicken stock. Allow to simmer for about an hour, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes break down and the carrots are soft.
- Turn off the heat and allow to cool for 15 minutes.
- Puree the soup, either with a stick blender or in batches in a conventional blender. I use a Braun hand blender that’s about 20 years old, but if I had to get a new one, I’d probably get this Cuisinart CSB-76 Smart Stick Hand Blender because it looks like the Braun ones may no longer be available.
- Once the soup is all pureed, push it through a sieve. I use a chinois like this, Stainless Steel China Cap Chinois Fine Strainer: 12-inch but you can use any kind of strainer. The point is that you want to get out the tomato skins and seeds, but push through the rest of the vegetables. If you use too fine a mesh strainer, you will just end up with tomato juice. I lost about 2 cups of “solids”, mostly skin and seeds, during the straining process.
- If you can skin and seed your tomatoes before making the soup you don’t have to strain it. But this is time consuming and I found it just easier to strain.
- Put all the strained soup back in the pot and add the salt and sugar to taste. Even though my tomatoes were very ripe and sweet, I almost always add a couple of teaspoons of sugar to tomato soup or sauce because it helps balance out the acidity of the tomatoes and bring out the natural sweetness.
To serve, reheat the soup. I like to garnish it with a dollop of homemade pesto.
Other garnish options include a bit of milk or cream to make a "bisque", chopped tomatoes to make a chunky tomato soup, fresh grilled garden vegetables (corn, zucchini, yellow squash, etc), or even tiny meatballs.
The possibilities are endless. Use your imagination!
Freezes well for a few months.
If you like tomato soup, check out another version on FormerChef:
Slow Roasted Tomato and Fennel Soup with Smoked Paprika