This past week we had one of our coolest nights this fall, the temperature in PA dropped to 35 degrees overnight. We got plenty of warning, so I had to go in the garden and collect any and all tomatoes that were still on the vine. I had so many in various stages of ripeness, and boy were they ugly and split from last weekend’s heavy rains. Instead of canning them again, I decided to make some tomato soup. For the soup, I used all but the completely green ones.
I took the ones that were not so ripe, and roasted them in the oven at about 425 for about an hour. This step is completely optional, but it adds flavor. Drizzle them in olive oil, and sprinkle some garlic powder and let those puppies roast. While they’re roasting, chop up 3 carrots, 3 celery shoots, 1 tbsp of fresh basil and 1 onion. Start sautéing them in a stock pot.
Once the onions start to turn translucent, pour in 3 cups of a stock of your choice. I used chicken stock. Then I threw in all my tomatoes, both the roasted ones and the raw ones. Since it’s fall and I had it laying around I used 1 cup of pureed squash (pumpkin would work beautifully here, too!). I let everything simmer covered for about 2 hours. That’s the beauty of soup, I got distracted with my two month old son, and homeschooling my other two kids that it was ok to leave my soup going unsupervised for a couple hours on low on my stove top.
Once I was able to get my youngest down for a nap a few hours later, I was able to do the next step. If you’re lucky enough to have an immersion blender, use it to blend your soup to the a constancy you like. I had to use an old fashioned blender. It works just as well, but I did let my soup cool a bit before tossing it in.
After I blended it, I stuck it back in the stock pot and set it to warm on my stove top. It bubbled there the rest of the day until everyone was ready for dinner. That last step is completely optional. The soup was done once I blended it, and could have easily been served at that point, or hours later. That again, is the absolute beauty of soup. Flexible, easy meal, specially when you’re juggling running a household while trying to give your family a fantastic healthy meal. Here’s a recap of the ingredients you’ll need to make this soup.
* 8-10 tomatoes -or- 16 oz can of whole tomatoes
* 3 carrots
* 3 celery stalks
* 1 tbsp fresh basil
* cups of chicken stock (or vegetable if going veg)
* 4 garlic cloves
* 1 cup mashed squash (or pumpkin)