Jo and I have been searching for the perfect tomato soup for ages. After all, we usually have an embarrassment of riches when the tomato harvest comes around. So ever since we’ve grown tomatoes we’ve been on the hunt for a great recipe. Search over. We got it. And we’ve tested it for two years harvest to make sure we liked it as much as we thought.
This year was a rough year for tomatoes at Clean Slate Farm having first been hit with a leaf spot problem on almost all the tomato plants. A Google+ distress call went out and we discovered that one tablespoon of baking soda in one gallon of water acts as a antifungal agent. We tried it and saved the plants with some TLC and managed a decent harvest only to have a lack of time to do any canning or cooking in quantity. Restaurant management is a time consuming profession.
However, Joanne came to the rescue though and pulled out the recipe for tomato soup. It’s easy and fast and very delicious. The recipe is based on one from formerchef.com although I can’t seem to find it on the site.
- 2 cups chopped carrots
- 2 cups chopped celery
- 3 cups diced onions
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 12 cups chopped fresh tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cups water or chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- Rough chop all the vegetables. It doesn’t matter what they look like because the soup will be blended later, but make sure the carrots, onions and celery are all about the same size so they cook at the same rate.
- In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil. Add in the carrots, celery and onions and cook until the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Add in the garlic and cook another 5 minutes, but don’t let the vegetables brown. Add in the tomatoes and water or chicken stock. Allow to simmer for about an hour, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes break down and the carrots are soft.
- Turn off the heat and allow to cool for 15 minutes.
- Puree the soup, either with a stick blender or in batches in a conventional blender. I use a Braun hand blender that’s about 20 years old, but if I had to get a new one, I’d probably get this Cuisinart CSB-76 Smart Stick Hand Blender because it looks like the Braun ones may no longer be available.
- Once the soup is all pureed, push it through a sieve. I use a chinois like this, Stainless Steel China Cap Chinois Fine Strainer: 12-inch but you can use any kind of strainer. The point is that you want to get out the tomato skins and seeds, but push through the rest of the vegetables. If you use too fine a mesh strainer, you will just end up with tomato juice. I lost about 2 cups of “solids”, mostly skin and seeds, during the straining process.