Homemade Creamy Tomato Soup From Scratch

When you have a bumper crop of baby tomatoes, this is the soup for you. Don’t throw them away or compost them when they get wrinkled and over ripe – cook them ! This flavor-layered soup is a tomato extravaganza. It freezes well and will bring a little bit of summery sweetness to a fall or winter lunch or quick supper. Serve with parmesan crisps, pita chips or croutons from an aging baguette.

Ingredients

Homemade Creamy Tomato Soup

  • 3 ½ pounds cherry or grape tomatoes, as ripe as possible
  • 1 1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 ribs celery with leaves (about 2 cups), coarsely chopped
  • ½ large sweet onion (about 2 cups), coarsely chopped
  • 8 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 (28-ounce) can chopped or crushed tomatoes, San Marzano preferred
  • 2 cups tomato juice, Sacramento brand preferred
  • 1/2 cup (1 [4.5-ounce] tube) tomato paste, San Marzano preferred
  • 1/2 cup full bodied fruity red wine or red port
  • ¼ cup dried tomato powder, optional
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 bunch flat leaf parsley, stem and leaves
  • 8 sprigs fresh oregano
  • 8 thyme sprigs
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 2 cups fresh tomatoes, roughly chopped or grape tomatoes, whole
  • Optional Garnishes
  • Whole fresh basil leaves, cut in chiffonade
  • Fresh oregano leaves
  • Parmesan Crisps

Instructions

  1. Roast tomatoes: Preheat oven to 275°F. Divide the tomatoes and 1 cup of the oil between 2 large baking pans, turning to coat. Roast in oven until tomatoes collapse and begin to caramelize, 3 ¾ to 4 ¼ hours. (Tomatoes may be roasted up to 2 days before proceeding with the recipe. Store with any collected juices, covered, in the refrigerator).
  2. Heat the remaining ½ cup oil in a large Dutch oven or stockpot over medium heat until shimmering, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the celery, onion, garlic and salt. Cook, stirring, until the onion is translucent and beginning to brown, 4 to 5 minutes.
  3. Add the canned tomatoes, tomato juice, tomato paste, wine, optional tomato powder, basil, and vinegar. Add the roasted tomatoes with any collected juices and bits scraped from the roasting pan. Stir to combine.
  4. Place the parsley, oregano, thyme and bay leaves on a square piece of cheesecloth. Roll up in a bundle and tie with kitchen string. Add to the pot.
  5. Place the cheese rinds on another piece of cheesecloth and tie in a bundle with kitchen string. Add to the pot. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered, 3 hours. Add the fresh tomatoes and heat until thoroughly warmed, stirring occasionally, 10 to 12 minutes.
  6. Remove the herb and cheese bundles and discard. Ladle the soup into a food mill in batches, discarding the vegetables on top. If you do not have a food mill, puree with an immersion blender and pour through a fine mesh sieve.
  7. Serve warm with the garnishes.

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