Tomato soup is one of those comfort foods that I always fall back on. It is healthy and full of vitamin C, so no guilt involved, like most comfort foods. Served with a nice warm piece of multigrain bread from my favorite local bakery, it’s close to perfection. Last week I froze a bunch of tomatoes and made a nice big batch of sauce for the winter. However, being that I neighbor an organic farm, and helped harvest some tomatoes, they were generous enough to share some of the crop with me. Looking for something else (besides making more sauce) I decided to make some soup, since there is a chill in the air at night now.
Peel the tomatoes only if you don’t want bits of skin. I quickly submerge them in boiling water, and the skin pops right off. Easy-peasy.
Good tasting extra virgin olive oil
3 medium onions, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 large cloves garlic, minced
1 generous tablespoon tomato paste
2-1/2 to 3 cups chicken broth (homemade preferred, but I like Imagine organic).
A big handful fresh basil leaves, torn
15 medium or 10 large delicious ripe tomatoes, cored and coarsely chopped (do capture their juices for the soup)
1 cup heavy cream (for serving)
1. Generously film the bottom of a 12-quart pot with olive oil. Set over medium high heat. When warm, add onions and about 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions start to color.
2. Stir in the garlic,and tomato paste. Cook 1 minute. Add broth, basil, and tomatoes. Bring to a lively simmer, cover the pot, and cook 15 to 20 minutes, or until tomatoes are softened and soup tastes fresh, but mellow. Adjust seasonings to taste.
3. Once soup has cooled, puree two-thirds in a blender or food processor. Rewarm or serve close to room temperature. The all-important finish is stirring a generous tablespoon of cream into each bowl. and if you like sprinkle with parmesan cheese (show above) & parsley or cilantro (I love cilantro with tomatoes).