All of my life, I never liked tomato soup. It always tasted like watered-down ketchup to me. Granted, my experience with tomato soup had been the canned variety, but I also had once or twice tried it in a restaurant or catered affair situation (I can’t remember which) and thought it was equally distasteful.
Then, I found a recipe for tomato soup using fresh tomatoes…and it changed my world. Now I knew what tomato soup was supposed to taste like. And I never looked back.
This is my recipe for fresh tomato soup. The ingredients are extremely simple and the focus is on the tomatoes. It’s best to make this in summer, when tomatoes are at their peak. It doesn’t much matter which variety you choose, as long as they’re ripe and fresh. Enjoy!
Fresh Tomato Soup
3 pounds fresh, ripe tomatoes
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 medium white onion, chopped
3 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 cups vegetable broth
1 tablespoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Wash tomatoes with soap or vegetable wash. Cut an “X” in the bottom of each one with a paring knife. Bring a medium-large pot of water to a boil. Place the tomatoes carefully in the water and let them oil just until the skin starts to loosen, about 30 seconds. Scoop them out and place them where they can cool down.
Place a strainer over a deep bowl. When the tomatoes are cool enough to handle, peel the skin off. Cut them in half, across the middle, and scoop out the seeds over the strainer. Press the pulp in the strainer with a spoon or rubber spatula to extract the juices. Reserve the juice (I got about 1-3/4 cups from mine) and discard the pulp.Chop the tomatoes.Dump the water from the pot and return it to the stove. Turn the heat on under it to dry it out. Then, pour the oil in. It should heat immediately (it should shimmer). Add the onion and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes.Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add carrot and sauté 3 or 4 minutes to soften. Stir in tomato paste until well blended.Cook a couple of minutes until bottom of pot starts to brown. Pour in ¼ cup of the broth and scrape up the dark bits form the bottom of the pot and stir it in. Pour in remaining broth and bring to a boil. Add the tomatoes, tomato liquid, salt, and pepper. Cook 2 or 3 minutes. Bring to a boil again, then lower the heat to low and simmer, partially covered until carrots are cooked through, about 10 to 15 minutes. (If your tomatoes weren’t that juicy and you didn’t get at least a cup from them, you can add additional broth or water to the pot.)Transfer the soup to a blender, or use a stick blender, and puree until smooth.Stir to blend. Make sure you’ve pureed all the tomato chunks. Taste for seasoning and adjust, if needed. Serve hot or cold, with or without a grilled cheese sandwich.