Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Home Grown, Home Made Tomato Soup

 Mmmmmm...I love tomato soup.  Since I was a little girl it was my favorite, summer winter spring or fall. Tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich.  When I was a kid (circa 1950's) that meant Campbell's Tomato Soup out of a can, with a grilled Wonder Bread and American cheese sandwich.  Things have changed some since then (my palate, for one) but I still love those two paired up.


 Since I grow and can all manner of tomatoes,  and I love making soup, it stands to reason that I would make my own tomato soup, just like every other soup I eat.  A friend asked me recently if I had a recipe for tomato soup and I said "Sure" without even thinking.  The truth is, I make soup by the seat of my pants (doesn't everyone?)  and don't really have a recipe per se... but like any good con artist, I can come up with a plausible story in the blink of a eye.  LOL


Any soup worth it's salt starts the same way: chopped onions and celery and garlic.  This is the secret of a solid soup base, in my book. I usually "sweat" the onions in the heavy bottomed pan first by themselves.  Then add in a little butter or olive oil and the celery and garlic. Stir them about and let them cook a little while you finely chop a couple of nice carrots. Cook the carrots with the onions and stuff for a dose of magic.  That taste and smell is out of this world. PLUS--carrots tone down the acidity of tomatoes and make them a little easier on your gut.




  For this batch of soup I used a pint jar of tomato sauce, a quart jar of diced tomatoes and a small can of tomato paste (because I wanted to).  I also used a quart of my own canned vegetable stock.  I can stock (chicken, turkey, vegetable) every year.


4 Tbsp butter**2 onions, thinly sliced ** 1 carrot, peeled and chopped** 2 stalks celery, chopped** 6 cloves of garlic (or less) coarsely chopped** 2 -3 quarts canned tomatoes** fresh or dried basil, about 2 tsp.** pinch of sugar** salt and pepper to taste** 4 cups of vegetable or chicken stock** 1/2 tsp Allspice ** 2 cups heavy cream or half and half.
Melt the butter in large pot. Saute the onion, carrot, celery and garlic--about 10-15 minutes. Add the tomatoes and their juice. Add basil, sugar, salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes. Add the stock and allspice and simmer for about an hour.
I use my stick blender to then puree everything. Sometimes I add a can of tomato paste. Taste it and see. Then add the cream and adjust seasonings (salt mostly, because I never know how much I put in the canned tomatoes. lol) Heat it through, but do not boil.
That's about it. Oh...and sometimes, instead of half and half or heavy cream, I will melt a half a box of cream cheese into the soup. It makes it so rich your head will spin.

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 When I make grilled cheese sandwiches, I use homemade whole grain bread.  2 or 3 kinds of sliced cheeses (my favorites are Havarti and Muenster) .  Butter the bread on one side, lay butter side down. Arrange the cheese on both slices of bread. Thinly slice an onion, a tomato, black olives--put on top of cheese. Close up sandwich and grill to golden brown on both sides.

  Eat with a lovely bowl of that tomato soup and you will be thinking you've died and gone to heaven.


 You'll never buy canned soup again.




Bon Apetit !

8 comments:

  1. Thanks Beth--how goes your celebrations ?

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  2. Oh my gosh Annie. First of all, that you do all of this work is amazing. Secondly it all sounds so good. Tomato soup and grilled cheese are my most favorite comfort foods! Really, as always, I am awe. I am saving your recipe.....none of my ingredients will be home canned, but store bought, but maybe for Christmas Eve....this would be a good dinner as everyone heads in for the next couple days.

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    1. It will still be 10x better than store bought canned soup. I'll bet it will be a hit with your fam !! Every little kid (inside us) loves tomato soup, don't they? lol
      It's not so much work really..not to me. Always a labour of love...

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  3. yum yum! I've only ever had homemade tomato soup at health food restaurants.

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    1. It's so easy to make--especially if you have that magical stick blender. I got a Hamilton Beach one on sale for like 13 dollars I think, and it's one of the best investments I have ever made. Beats all that shuffling back and forth between the pot and blender. lol

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  4. OH I would love to have a bowl of that! I rely really would. I love tomato soup.

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  5. OH I would love to have a bowl of that! I rely really would. I love tomato soup.

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