Yes, I’m back with more tomatoes. I can’t help it – they’re everywhere in my house and yard. A bumper crop this year! So I have to find things to do with them.
Soup seemed like a good way to use up lots – one batch uses up 2lbs of the things. And I have to confess – I’ve never made soup from scratch before. But it feels like fall and fall means hearty, warm comfort food: soups and chunky, crusty bread. So I thought I would give it a shot.
I learned a new food shooting lesson on this one. If you don’t have a proper studio, have your soup for lunch! I actually shot this with my leftovers the next day. All the images I took in the evening before dinner were too dark and had an orange glow from bad indoor lighting that I couldn’t fix.
It was too bad because I also made the yummiest grilled cheese sandwiches from swiss and cheddar on sourdough bread that night – with better lighting they would’ve been a good shoot in their own right. They turned out perfect, all gooey and oozy and just the right amount of browning. Nothing says comfort food and rainy fall days to me like tomato soup and grilled cheese!
Here’s the recipe I followed. I got it from the Food Network and added a few bits that were mentioned in some of the comments. The paprika adds a nice zing. It made enough for four servings and I froze two of them.
Cream of Tomato Soup
2 tbsp butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, finely chopped
1 stalk of celery, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic
2 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp paprika
2lbs of fresh tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped, keep the juices as you dice them (for a good guide on how to peel tomatoes try this.) If you don’t have fresh tomatoes, substitute a 28 oz can of diced tomatoes.
2 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp fresh basil
2 tbsp fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1 cup milk (or cream if you want a thicker soup)
salt and pepper to taste
In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. And the onion, celery, carrot and garlic and cook, while stirring, till softened. (3-5 minutes). Add flour and paprika and cook, stirring constantly, until combined (don’t allow it to burn!)
Add the tomatoes, their juices, broth, basil, thyme and the bay leaf and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and let simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and remove the bay leaf.
Puree small batches of the soup in a blender until smooth. Return to pan and heat and add the milk. Season with salt and pepper, to taste and simmer until heated through (3-5 minutes) and serve!