Monday, October 1, 2012

Creamy Heirloom Tomato Soup

I had an over abundance of heirloom tomatoes a couple of weeks ago.  I found this recipe while looking for ways to preserve my summer harvest.  The secret to this soup is NOT to use paste or other canning tomatoes.  Use only the freshest and tastiest heirlooms from the garden.  The tomatoes need to taste good.  I made this soup with the mystery tomatoes that I think are Anana Noire and some Amana Orange tomatoes.  I had enough for about a double recipe.  This recipe keeps for a week in the refrigerator and freezes well (extra bonus)!!    
The soup was delicious.  I couldn't help but sneak a bowl.  I froze the rest of the soup to be enjoyed during the winter.  Just leave out the cream and add it once the soup is heated up and ready to serve.  It'll go perfectly with grilled cheese sandwiches.  Yummo!!  

Creamy Heirloom Tomato Soup 
Serves: 6-8
From: The Splendid Table on NPR

extra virgin olive oil
3 medium sweet onions, diced
salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 large cloves of garlic, minced
a pinch of red pepper flakes
1 Tbsp tomato paste
2 1/2 - 3 c. chicken broth (homemade preferred but can use good quality canned)
handful of fresh basil leaves, torn
15 medium or 10 large ripe and delicious heirloom tomatoes, cored & coarsely chopped (be sure to catch all of the juices too!!)
1 c. heavy cream (for serving)

1)  Generously film the bottom of a 12-quart pot with olive oil.  Over medium-high heat, saute the onions, stirring occasionally.  Season with salt and pepper and cook until the onions brown slightly.  Add the garlic and cook for an addition minute.  

2)  Add the red pepper flakes and tomato paste.  Add chicken broth, fresh basil and tomatoes.  Bring the tomatoes to a lively simmer.  

3) Cover the pot and cook for 15-20 minutes, or until tomatoes are soft and soup tastes fresh, but mellow.  Adjust seasoning as needed.  Turn off the heat and allow the soup to cool.

4) Once the soup is cooled, puree about 2/3 of the soup in a blender, food processor or use a hand blender.  Rewarm soup and add 1 Tbsp of heavy cream to each bowl of soup prior to serving.

**If freezing soup, leave out heavy cream.  I froze my soup in 4 cup portions.  Add cream to each bowl once the soup is thawed and reheated.**