All I wanted was tomato soup.
I didn't have any cans of diced or crushed tomatoes in the cupboard, and I doubted that tomato puree would yield a very good result. I've done crazy things in the past like combine pasta sauce with water, which wasn't too bad, but don't try that!
No, I wanted to make something that was essentially from scratch. Surprisingly, a simple recipe was kind of tough to find on Google, so I just winged it.
In such a simple dish, all of the ingredients matter -- at least that's what I have heard. So using on-the-vine tomatoes and a good olive oil would make a huge difference. Recently, I received a sample of Filippo Berio Extra Virgin Olive Oil and decided to use it here.
So here's the recipe... note that I am not really a recipe blogger, so if the directions seem imprecise or otherwise weird, you know why! Also, I'm pretty sure you can add more or less of things and still get an edible soup. =)
Homemade Tomato Soup (serves about 4-5)
- 1.5 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 4-6 whole tomatoes of decent size... they don't need to be on-the-vine, but they should be pretty ripe
- 3 large ribs of celery, chopped into .5" pieces
- 10-12 baby carrots or one full carrot chopped into .5" pieces
- 1/2 large onion, chopped into .5" pieces
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 can of vegetable or chicken broth (~15 oz, which is about 2 cups)
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 packet of Stevia or 1 tsp sugar
- 1.5 tsp oregano
- generous pinch of sea salt
- pepper to taste
1) You'll want to remove the skin from the tomatoes, so you'll need to blanch them. Boil a large pot of water and submerge the tomatoes for about 1-2 minutes, or until you see the skin wrinkling. Use tongs to remove them and place/rinse in very cold water. If the skins don't come off very easily, you can use a vegetable peeler to expedite the process. Once completed, chop tomatoes into 1"x1" pieces.
2) Heat olive oil on medium heat, add garlic and onions until they are fragrant (2-3 minutes) but not burned! Add carrots and celery and stir for about a minute, then add spices (thyme, oregano, salt) and cook for another minute.
3) Add tomatoes and stir. Add broth and Stevia (I know it sounds weird, but it off-sets the sour-ness), stir, and place bay leaf on top. Put lid on pot and simmer for about 25 minutes.
4) REMOVE BAY LEAF. Then use immersion blender to CAREFULLY puree everything, if you have one (thanks, Sister K for giving me the one kitchen tool I've wanted but didn't have!). Otherwise, you will need to wait for the mixture to cool down significantly before CAREFULLY pouring into a blender or large-capacity food-processor.
5) Serve warm. I forgot to add pepper to mine, but you probably should. I don't like pepper much, so I was perfectly fine leaving it out.
Yes, it might look a little orange, but I feel that is more natural than the deep red from a can... don't you?! I think the carrots and the fact that the tomatoes weren't as ripe as I would have liked contributed to that nice orange glow. It still tastes like the real thing, though!
"The Ukrainian" made a faux-grilled cheese with stuff we had lying around -- sandwich thins, Kraft singles knock-offs, and Earth Balance. The soup was flavorful hearty enough to satisfy me for once, and I had leftovers for encores at work, along with microwave-grilled cheese. Hah!
FTC Disclaimer: I was sent a sample of Filippo Berio olive oil as part of my participation in the BzzAgent program but was not otherwise compensated to provide a positive review.