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Basic Tomato Soup, with a Twist?

I've been growing some variety of orange tomatos on my deck this summer. Two HUGE plants, and I'm just now getting the crop coming in, lots of them in fact, more than I can make use of on a weekly basis with just two people in the house. I've been using the smaller ones in my cooking; such as a salmon dish I made with roasted tomatoes, BLT sammies, and wherever else I see fit but I currently have a huge bowl of them sitting in the kitchen, along with some heirloom red tomatoes and another variety of small cherry tomato I had purchased too.

I'm thinking I'd like to use these up in a soup, something somewhat basic but with a little bit of a twist to it. Nothing overly spicy; however. I also grow a lot of herbs outside; basil (both Italian and Thai), mint, thyme, cilantro, parsley, sage, rosemary and lavender.

Wouldn't mind it being creamy - a bit of heavy cream perhaps would be nice. Hot, or cold, doesn't matter. Just want it to be seriously tasty, deep flavors. I've never made a tomato soup in my entire life, so this is new territory for me.


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  1. Consider drying some of your tomatoes - slice as thinly as you can and put on a mesh screen to air/sun-dry, or on a cooling rack over a sheet pan, into the oven set as low as possible until thoroughly dry. You can break them up and add them to soups, stews, and sauces, or grind to a powder in a coffee grinder. Dried, they will have much more intense flavor when used for cooking, and will store for a very long time.

    Also, if you roast whole or halved tomatoes before making your soup, you'll have more concentrated flavor. While doing that, sweat some onions in oil or your choice of fat (schmaltz or bacon would be good), and add some vegetable or chicken broth. Celery, bell pepper, and/or carrot are additional options. Add your roasted tomatoes and herbs of your choice, simmer to blend flavors, then puree and s&p to taste. If desired, add cream. Alternative to roasting is to coarsely chop and cook down until thick before adding to soup pot.

    1. Think what usually tastes really good with tomato soup or tomatoes. Instead of grilled cheese stir some cheese in it.

      A take on a BLT would be to mix some bacon and basil (instead of lettuce).

      1. Add rosemary--delicious (can chop finely or do an infusion--wrap several sprigs in cheesecloth, then romove at the end.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Funwithfood

          And maybe along with the rosemary, top it with goat cheese crumbles before serving.

          1. re: gastronomad

            Good idea...along with homemade rosemary garlic croutons.

        2. I made tomato basil soup last week and it was wonderful Here it is... It was delicious and everyone in the family loved it. I added a little cream is all. The tomatoes are so full of flavor, just be sure to seed the peel and seed the tomatoes, and strain it.
          I made a smooth creamy soup, but you can leave it chuncky and add a handful of pasta. It would be super.

          7 Replies
          1. re: chef chicklet

            Chunky, not to be confused with "Chucky". Oh my, I need to wear my glasses more.

            1. re: chef chicklet

              Oh, that looks good. We'll have to put it into the rotation.

              1. re: chef chicklet

                Chef chicklet, I made your soup today - more or less ;) Tweaked it a bit, since I had no sherry in the house. Decided to add some garlic to it at the last moment (added a whole clove to sort of just sit in the soup as it simmered to meld gently into the flavors, instead of chopping it in). Also, used a bit of heavy cream with the milk. Served it with a large piece of French bread garlic crouton.

                It turned out great - my orange tomatoes were very sweet, and tasted quite different from a typical red tomato so it was exactly the "twist" I was looking for.

                1. re: Elora

                  oh your are gooooood. That is beautiful. I love the use of heavy cream in tomato soup, in fact I do that most of the time. I was trying to be good. Did you like the garlic in there? I don't add it anymore, mostly when I make I will caremalize the onions.

                  This looks really nice, I haven't made soup with yellow tomatoes ever, I'll have to try it!

                  oops forgot to ask? Did you blend any of that fresh basil into the soup?

                  I also wanted to be sure and thank you for your photo! I am such visual person, where other are wonderful word-smith's in describing their dishes, I need to take a photo.

                  1. re: chef chicklet

                    I loved the touch of garlic. I think it really was needed - although since I didn't make it your way, I could be wrong on that.

                    I didn't blend the basil in - I cut it into small, thin strips and mixed in (but took some out for the sake of the photo haha!). Used same amount you suggested, but I think I might use a bit more next time. I went easy on it this time because my BF always makes comments when I pick it, that my hands are very pungent - I think he's not as in love with it as I am, so being a bit judicious with it was necessary.

                    1. re: Elora

                      I think it could of used more too, good call. I'll have to try roasting the garlic next time. I have quite a few of tomatoes that will be ready soon. We all love fresh tomato soup, and every single time I make it, it's the best. So funny. My favorite ingredient (addition) is the sherry. I love sherry in tomat soup and French Onion. I'll be making both of these this week or weekend. YEA!!!

                      I have some shrimp to deal with today..

                      1. re: chef chicklet

                        And your addition of sherry, was sorely missed. I can't wait to make it again with that addition. I was going to use some white wine I had in the fridge - or so I thought. Well, I did have it but the cork had fallen off some how, and I wasn't sure just *when* it had and wasn't going to take any chance on how the wine had fared since it could have been, who knows how long since it happened :(

              2. The NYT ran a recipe last year for roasted tomato soup --

                We had a bumper crop of tomatoes last year, so I made it often, and it came out excellent every time. Instead of broiling the tomatoes per the directions, I bake them for about an hour at 400, then peel the skins off and proceed. A dollop of cream near the end wouldn't hurt it a bit, though the soup is wonderful without.

                1 Reply
                1. re: harrie

                  I agree that roasting the tomatoes is the key to a truly superior tomato soup. Love this one, from Epicurious:


                2. Chef & Harrie, both recipes sound perfect. I think I'll try both of them but will start with Chef's since I have some cream sitting in the house to use up at the moment along with a bumper crop of basil too. Sounds perfect, and the grilled cheese sandwiches alongside will be highly appreciated as well. Sounds like a plan for a simple dinner tomorrow evening!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Elora

                    Oh you can' t go wrong with fresh tomato soup no matter what recipe you use.
                    But honestly, the fontina cheese is my new best friend.It's soooo good, and you can slip in some basil inside the sandwich as well.

                  2. Add some peeled and grated ginger in your tomato soup.

                    1. We also do a nice tomato soup with shrimp and orzo -- use fresh tomatoes versus canned and larger shrimp, just chunked up a bit.

                      1. NYT Sunday Magazine has two great tomato soup recipes today:

                        Also, the COTM for July, Spice by Ana Sortun, has a great recipe for yellow tomato gazpacho that would work for other kinds of tomatoes.

                        1. This is a favorite recipe of mine--tomato soup with lemon rosemary cream. You can modify it to include your fresh tomatoes instead. It's quite special!

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: kattyeyes

                            Oh, wow, this sounds great. I'll definitely fix it. Thanks, k-e..

                          2. Sunday's NYT Magazine has a recipe for chilled tomato soup. It sounds good, and I was thinking of making it for next weekend.

                            Recipe: 2009: Spiced Tomato Cooler With Herb Salad and Goat-Cheese Toasts

                            Look at the link for the Morrocan soup, that is the one that I am interested in.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: normalheightsfoodie

                              I do a tomato soup with coconut milk, red Thai curry paste, and a bit of lime juice. Always a hit. Recipe? Let's see: Saute a bunch of chopped onions until translucent, add red curry paste to taste and cook for a few minutes, then add chopped/seeded/peeled tomatoes and simmer for 30 minutes. Puree and strain. Finish with salt, coconut milk to taste, and a bit of lime juice to brighten it up a bit. Voila! Garnishing with a thread or two of Thai basil would be great; I have also added a pinch of good garam masala on top, which is also nice.

                              1. re: zamorski

                                Sounds delish and very easy. I have some thai basil growing out back too, may do this one soon as I have another bowl full of tomatoes on the counter as I type this!

                            2. Tomato bisque, which I used to buy at great expense from whole foods, is super simple. Basically it's onions, carrots, an enormous quantity of peeled tomatoes (and some tomato paste for richness), a pinch of sugar, fresh dill in a greater quantity than you think you need, s&p, a pinch of red pepper flakes, and just a tiny splash of cream. Zip with a stick blender if you've got one, serve with crusty bread. Couldn't be easier.

                              1. my mother and now I make a good, simple tomato soup. cook about 6 large tomatoes and 2 medium onions in simmering water for twenty minutes, along with 15 cloves (yes, cloves!), salt, pepper and sugar if need be. remove cloves. puree tomatoes and onions (this was much easier before my immersion blender set on fire), add back to liquid. add in a little bit of cornstarch and water to thicken, along with 4 tbsps of butter. a very nice, simple soup. too bad i can't supply a more exact recipe.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Rosiepigs

                                  Generally include some clove in my tomato bisque as well, though I stick with maybe 4 or so.

                                2. Love these ideas! You can try sauteeing some fennel bulb with onion/garlic/aromatics- adds a lovely, subtle anise flavor. Save the fennel fronds for garnish!