Anyone who grew up in the vintage mid-century years remembers creamy tomato soup from a well-known soup canner. What a satisfying and hearty lunch or dinner served with a grilled cheese sandwich. I remember my mother would make us tumblers of tomato soup and grilled cheese to eat at our picnic table in the fall. One of my favorite childhood memories. Fifty years later, I can still taste and smell that soup served in Tupperware mugs and dunking the sandwich quarters.
Cincinnati- based Tom & Chee, a tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwich restaurant attracted Shark Tank investors Mark Cuban and Barbara Corcoran, who invested $600,000 in the franchise idea. Who woulda thunk? I mean, it’s tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich. The lesson goes to the fact that tomato soup is a gastronomic bomb and a Midwestern staple.
Serve hot Creamy Fresh Tomato Soup with your favorite accouterments and
you’ll have a beloved memorable quintessential comfort meal in no time.
I like this recipe because it’s loaded up with other vegetables, not just tomatoes. You can control the salt which is always a good thing. You can control fat content depending on how creamy you want your soup to be. And if you don’t have fresh tomatoes on hand, you can substitute canned tomatoes (Salt-free if you roll that way.)
My goal for this batch was to use up tomatoes I already had on hand. I used three fresh tomatoes from the Farmers’ Market, a half-quart of heirloom grape-sized tomatoes leftover in the fridge, and a 15oz. can of salt-free petite diced tomatoes. So, it really doesn’t matter the source of your tomatoes.
I topped my soup with a little dried basil and served with my
Honey Half Whole Wheat Rolls.
Shall we make some lovely tomato soup? YEAH!
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1½ cups onion, roughly chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
- 2 stalks celery, trimmed and roughly chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, roughly chopped
- 4-5 pounds of fresh tomatoes, or any combination of fresh and canned(with juices)
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 Tablespoons dried basil leaves
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 Tablespoon salt or salt substitute (optional)
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
- 3 cups reduced sodium chicken stock
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ½ cup whole or 2% milk
- In a large heavy pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.
- Add onions, carrots, and red pepper. Reduce heat to medium. Put a lid on the pot, and allow the vegetables to steam for 10 minutes until they're soft.
- Add minced garlic and crushed red pepper, basil and bay leaf. Stir and saute for one minute.
- Add tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, salt, and pepper. Stir.
- Add chicken stock. Stir. Bring to a boil then reduce to simmer.
- Cook for 30-40 minutes.
- In small batches (3-4), use a blender to liquefy the soup. Pour the liquefied soup into a large bowl until everything is blended.
- (CAUTION: The contents are hot. When blending anything hot, always cover the blender jar top with a kitchen towel. If you use the blender lid, the heat generated as you're blending will blow the lid off and you'll have hot tomato soup all over you and your kitchen. Not good.
- OR use an immersion blender.
- Pour the soup from the bowl into your cooking pot. Add the heavy cream and milk. Over medium heat, bring the soup to temperature.
- Check for seasoning.
- Finish soup with a Tablespoon of unsalted butter to add some sheen. (Optional)
Garnish with a dollop of Sour Cream, a sprinkling of Grated Cheddar Cheese, or finely Chopped Basil.
If you want a creamier soup, add more heavy cream and less milk. Or you could use half-n-half instead.
At Mimi's Table