This recipe I copied from a newspaper when I was a teenager, and embellished on over the years. The dollop of whipped cream on top always appealed to me. It makes a very satisfying tomato soup. It is a good way to use an abundance of tomatoes. The key to the great flavor is to use low-acid tomatoes, and fresh basil and thyme. Of course, you can substitute canned tomatoes and dried herbs as well; if you do that, you can just blend up the cooked soup at the end. I have a lot of yellow tomatoes, which are not high-acid. I had an idea of making a golden tomato soup, but the tomato paste in the recipe turned the soup red, of course. I entertained ideas about making a tomato paste from yellow tomatoes, but I’m not sure I’m that ambitious.
There are two ways of making this soup from fresh tomatoes, both of which incur a little extra effort. The first is to blanch then peel the tomatoes, and squeeze out the seeds. Then after the soup is cooked you can just puree the soup in a blender. This makes a little thicker soup. The other way is to quarter the whole tomatoes and cook, then at the end turn the soup through a food mill, and strain out the seeds. This soup is a little thinner. You don’t want to blend up the seeds and peel or the soup will be bitter. Both ways make a fresh, tasty soup that can be served hot or cold, and is great with cheesy croutons or sandwiches.
The dollop of whipped cream can become a drizzle, or be eliminated. If you’d rather have a cream of tomato soup, then add more milk or cream to the soup and gently heat (but not boil) and then serve.
Below is the recipe for the food mill method.
- 2 T butter
- 2 T olive oil
- 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
- 2 pounds fresh (low acid, if possible) tomatoes, quartered (about 5 cups)
- 1 6 oz can tomato paste
- 2 T snipped fresh basil (or 2 teaspoons dried crushed)
- 4 teaspoons snipped fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried crushed)
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 1 T cooking sherry, red wine or Tequila (optional)
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar (optional)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon pepper
- Dollop of unsweetened whipped cream (if desired)
- In a large saucepan, combine butter and oil and heat until butter melts.
- Add onion; cook until tender but not brown.
- Stir in tomatoes, paste, basil, thyme, sugar and alcohol (if using).
- Mash tomatoes slightly.
- Add vegetable broth.
- When boiling, reduce heat, cover and simmer 40 minutes.
- Press through food mill.
- Return mixture to saucepan.
- Stir in salt and pepper (to taste).
- Reheat and serve with a dollop or drizzle of cream and a sprinkling of herbs on top.