My mom’s garden (or as I call it, her micro-farm) is overflowing with tomatoes right now. She gave me a huge bushel of them and I wanted to put them to good use while they were perfectly ripe. I also got a delivery from this company that shops the farmer’s market for you and delivers a big box of organic produce to your door. It came with some gorgeous yellow onions, little carrots, and giant basil leaves, so this was some seriously locavore/farm-to-table-style soup! I took a pretty simple Martha Stewart recipe and mixed it up a bit with the fresh ingredients instead of store bought ones, because I think that is really the key to great soup. (Her recipe also called for a half cup of butter– hey, whoa there Martha, some of us have bikinis to wear.) So I used fresh tomatoes instead of canned, homemade stock instead of canned, and fresh herbs instead of dried. It came out with so much flavor and as one taster put it, it’s a very light and summery soup!
Classic Tomato Soup
Makes 6 servings
24 ounces fresh tomatoes (about 4 cups)
4 cups water
1 tbs olive oil
2 carrots, roughly chopped
1 yellow onion, roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic, smashed
Assorted fresh herbs (basil, rosemary, thyme, sage, oregano)
3 tsp salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tbs olive oil
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
5 cloves garlic, chopped
5 basil leaves, chopped
2 teaspoons sea salt
a couple more grinds of fresh black pepper
Pour 4 cups water into a pot and bring to a boil on high heat.
Add the tomatoes into the boiling water for about a minute, then pull them out with tongs and dunk them in a bowl of ice water.
With the leftover tomato-boiling water, add the 1 tbs olive oil, carrots, onions, garlic and herbs. You can add other veg scraps if you want, this was just what I had handy. Cover, reduce heat, and let simmer for 1 hour ( or if you have a pressure cooker, bring it up to full pressure and cook for 10 minutes, much easier!) You want to have 3 cups of stock by the time it’s done.
Strain the stock with a sieve and set the liquid aside.
Once the tomatoes have cooled, peel them and cut out any tough center part along with the stem. The peels should practically fall off. They are going to be very juicy so do this in a bowl where you can keep all the juices.
In a large, deep saucepan, heat the 2 tb olive oil on medium low and sauté the onions and garlic for 15 min. stirring often.
Add the stock, tomatoes, and basil to the pan and cook for about 20 min on medium low heat.
Then pour everything into a blender and blend really well. Be careful with the steam!
Add salt and pepper if you think it needs it.
Voila! I served it with a green salad dressed in a mustard vinaigrette.