The End of the Fresh Tomatoes – Fresh Tomato Soup

It’s sad, but true. Tomato season is at an end. Any tomatoes that are still left on the shriveled up plants are rotting from the cool nights and moist mornings that signal fall. The fall season brings fantastic weather and gorgeous tree color but I really hate to have the garden at the end of its production for the year. The Swiss chard will keep producing until the first frost, lettuce will be okay for a while longer and now is the time to plant next year’s garlic crop, but the cornerstones of my garden, tomatoes & peppers are at their end.

The beefsteak tomatoes earlier in the growing season.

The beefsteak tomatoes earlier in the growing season.

This year, I decided to use the last of the tomato harvest to make soup instead of sauce. I spent some time online searching for fresh tomato soup recipes. Needless to say, there are thousands! I narrowed it down to just 2 to try out with my remaining tomatoes from the garden. I fed them in a blind taste test to my resident tomato soup connoisseur. Eric picked the version that was just like Campbell’s Tomato soup and I can’t blame him because I did, too! We both grew up on Campbell’s Tomato soup. We keep some on hand to have for lunch on cold weekends with some grilled cheese sandwiches. But making it fresh from homegrown tomatoes is even better!

Fresh Tomato Soup (adapted from busycooks.about.com)

Prep Time: 15 minutes  Cook Time: 20 minutes  Total Time: 35 minutes   Yield: 4 servings

Plum tomatoes make up the bulk of the tomato plants I grow.

Plum tomatoes make up the bulk of the tomato plants I grow.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 beefsteak tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 4 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

 

Preparation:

In a heavy saucepan, heat the oil and cook the onions and garlic until they are tender.

Many meals from our kitchen begin with onions & garlic being sauteed.

Many meals from our kitchen begin with onions & garlic being sautéed.

Add the tomatoes, salt, pepper, and stock then simmer for 20 minutes.

Nothing beats fresh, homegrown tomatoes!

Nothing beats fresh, homegrown tomatoes!

Strain the soup through a fine strainer.

The juice from the onions, garlic and tomatoes is strained out to make the soup.

The juice from the onions, garlic and tomatoes is strained out to make the soup.

In a clean saucepan, melt the butter then add the flour, whisking the mixture constantly. Cook and stir the roux for 2-3 minutes.

Adding flour to the melted butter makes a roux, a thickening agent for soups and sauces.

Adding flour to the melted butter makes a roux, a thickening agent for soups and sauces.

Add 1/2 cup of the tomato juice mixture, continuing to cook and stir it until it has thickened. Add the remaining tomato juice mixture and continue to cook and stir until the soup is hot and thickened to the desired consistency. Stir in the basil and thyme leaves and serve with some grilled cheese sandwiches.

We have a winner in Battle: Tomato Soup!

We have a winner in Battle: Tomato Soup!

I see a trip to the farmers’ market in my weekend plans for more tomatoes. I want enough of this soup in the freezer to eat all fall and winter!  ~Linda