June 10

Tomato Soup

I don’t eat tomatoes.

Okay, that’s a bit of a stretch. I eat tomato sauce, I partake in salsa (and rarely pico de gallo), and I like tomato soup. But I won’t chop up a tomato in wedges or slices and put them on a salad, or eat pizza with tomato chunks; I don’t eat ketchup, either. I pick around them when they’re present in a dish. Even when they’re firm, they’re still too squishy. But I still have two tomato plants in my box gardens. I hesitated in planting them, due to the fact that I don’t enjoy them on their own, but the more I thought about it, I figured I could still make pasta sauce, salsa, and soup.

Well, my plants are huge right now, though they barely have blossoms on them, and I suspect there’s a touch of blight going on. I need to do some research on what treatments I can do to save them, because after playing with ripe fresh tomatoes today, I definitely want garden fresh tomatoes in my life!

I made a huge grocery list based off of 15 different meals I wanted to make over the next several weeks and bit the bullet for a larger grocery bill. Some of the items on my grocery list were to make Portuguese bean soup and restaurant style salsa. Then we were gifted with 4 pounds of fresh tomatoes from The Fellow’s™ step mom. Knowing the fresh tomatoes would never outlast what was in the cupboard, I set to the task of boiling them up and making them into a soup. We love tomato soup, but up until now it’s condensed canned soup for us. I’ll admit there’s a special place in my heart for condensed canned soup, especially when cooked with milk and a lot of pepper. However, after making this soup, I don’t know if I’ll be able to go back to canned soup without feeling extremely guilty for consuming something so laden with junk or without comparing it to the homemade version.

Homemade Tomato Soup

Tomato Soup

Ingredients

3-5 pounds ripe tomatoes
1 15 ounce can chicken broth
crushed red pepper flakes
Parmesan cheese
onion powder or diced yellow onions

Directions

1. In a large pot, combine chicken broth and diced tomatoes with their skin and seeds in tact. If using diced yellow tomatoes, add them at this time. Turn stove top to medium-high heat and bring to a rolling boil for 45 minutes. By the end of 45 minutes, the skin and seeds will have separated from the flesh of the tomatoes.

2. Slowly ladle a portion of the stewed tomatoes into a blender and puree until there are no more lumps. Do this in small batches so at to not splash up or have your blender top blow from the hot liquid. An immersion blender can work well, too. The seeds should be nearly invisible after their adventure in the blender.

3. Return the soup to the large pot and add a pinch of red pepper flakes, fresh grated Parmesan cheese, and the onion powder if using it instead of diced yellow onions. You can add any other flavors you prefer:  fresh basil, oregano, sage, or other cheeses. Let boil at medium-high heat once again for about 15 minutes.

4. When ready to serve, add a little milk or cream to create a creamy soup. If you want to freeze the soup, omit the addition of milk or cream. Add it when you thaw the soup at a later date.

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