I’m very excited to have this recipe featured on the Daily Meal, so I had to share.
Coming home after our summer vacation, I had baskets and baskets of tomatoes. This summer, the tomatoes in my garden have been going crazy, so it’s pretty much 101 ways to use a tomato in our house these days. I’m not complaining—I absolutely love tomatoes—but the overflow that seems to multiply on my kitchen counter has forced me to get creative. This fresh tomato soup was a creation from the surplus; it turned out to be a delicious, healthy family meal.
Often it seems like tomato soups don’t taste anything like an actual tomato—the tomatoes are roasted or stewed into a soup that is so far from the starting main ingredient. I like using Early Girl tomatoes for this recipe because they cook really quickly and have a fresh, bright flavor, but you can use any mix or assortment of tomatoes you have on hand. This soup has a great creamy texture without adding any cream.
Early Girl Tomato Soup
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ of a small red onion, small dice
2 small stalks of celery, small dice
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 bay leaf
4 ½ cups largely diced tomatoes
1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Splash of white balsamic vinegar
Put butter and olive oil in a heavy bottom 4-6 quart pot over medium heat until the butter bubbles. Add in onion, celery, garlic and the bay leaf. Sauté on medium heat for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent. Add 4 1/2 cups chopped Early Girl tomatoes, the teaspoon of salt and the pinch of red pepper flakes. Mix until the tomatoes soften and release juices, about 10 minutes, cover and cook another 10 minutes.
At this point, it will look more like a sauce. Find your bay leaf and remove it. Puree with a hand or regular blender. Then add a little water, 1/2-1 cup depending on the consistency you prefer. Finish with a splash of white balsamic vinegar and the ½ teaspoon of salt. You shouldn’t really taste the vinegar, but it brightens up the soup and compliments the tomatoes.
Bring back to simmer and then serve. Pour into bowls and garnish with basil and a drizzle of olive oil.