Hello, All! I’m finally back and feeling refreshed after taking a much needed break, the first one in more than five years since I started this blog. I’m really looking forward to fall and cooler weather, and want to share a great basic recipe for fresh tomato soup to make now (while you still can get fresh tomatoes) and enjoy later. And, as an added bonus, I’ll show you a great serving suggestion that not only tastes delicious but makes you look like a gourmet cook as well – a rustic, cheddar-lined bread bowl to fill with your homemade soup. Talk about classic comfort food – it’s tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich all in one!
I recently went to the farmer’s market and bought a box of canning tomatoes. These tomatoes were a bit banged up or bruised, but perfectly fine to use in soups and homemade sauces. I purchased ¾ of a big box for a whopping $7.00 – what a deal! First, I made a large pot of fresh tomato soup, freezing most of it for later. Since I still had lots of tomatoes left, I whipped up some of my famous Marinara sauce, which I also froze for later use. I just love a great bargain, especially one that I’ll be able to appreciate several times this fall and winter!
Ingredients for Soup (Makes a big pot)
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup sweet onion, chopped fine
- 1 cup chopped celery, chopped fine
- 2 garlic cloves, pressed
- 7 cups chopped ripe tomatoes (including juice and seeds)
- 2 cups organic vegetable broth
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil, thinly sliced
- Sea salt, to taste
- Fresh ground pepper, to taste
- Fresh basil for garnish (optional)
Heat oil in large saucepan. Add onions, celery and garlic, and sauté for a few minutes.
Add tomatoes and basil, cover the pot, and simmer for approximately 25 minutes.
Stir in vegetable broth, tomato paste and sugar. Season with salt and pepper, and simmer for 20 minutes or so, no lid needed.
Remove soup from heat. Using an immersion blender, blend until smooth. If you don’t have an immersion blender, use a regular one, and just add the soup in small batches.
Ingredients for Cheddar Bread Bowl (Serves one)
- 1 small round bread roll
- Butter, softened for easy spreading
- Cheddar cheese slices (3-4, or to taste)
- Kel’s fresh tomato soup (a cup or so)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Remove the top of the roll. Using a small knife cut around the inside of the bread (being careful not to cut through the sides) and scoop out the center of the roll – save this for homemade croutons or to use to dip in the soup.
Butter the inside of the roll.
Place 3-4 cheese slices around the inner edge of the bread bowl.
Bake for several minutes until the cheese has melted. Resist the urge to eat this now!
Ladle Kel’s fresh tomato soup into the bread bowl, season with black pepper and garnish with fresh basil. Using a sturdy spoon, scrape the insides of the cheese bread and make sure you get some of the awesome soup in the same bite. Oh yeah, life IS good!
Freeze leftover soup in individual portions to enjoy when the weather starts getting colder!
Eat, drink and be merry!
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