Rustic Creamy Tomato Soup

>> Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Is your garden bursting with tomatoes? Ours sure is. We actually didn't plant anything this year because we were moving during the prime preparation season. The first day after we'd settled into our new place, we noticed that the previous owners had planted an entire raised bed garden's worth of cherry tomatoes.

We have several pints a day ripening up. And our CSA is proving some heirlooms of all different varieties. Take a look at this bounty! Talk about local color, right?

In the past, I've made Tangy BBQ Sauce to freeze, I've slow roasted tomatoes to marry with warm quinoa salad, and I've even combined tomatoes with white wine for a Boozy + Bold Chunky Pasta Sauce. I've also made various tomato soup recipes, but I've never quite gotten the flavor right. I love Panera's thick and creamy tomato soup, so I decided I'd try my best to replicate it as closely as possible.

I actually succeeded using a lazy roux.

And now you can, too!

Vegan option. Makes 6 cups of soup.

What you'll need . . .
  • 5 cups chopped assorted tomatoes
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons Earth Balance or butter
  • 1/2 cup almond milk (or substitute)
  • 1/4 Parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast
  • salt + pepper to taste
Method . . .
  1. Chop tomatoes coarsely (I left the cores in and skin on, hence the "rustic" title) and put them in a large, non-reactive stockpot with the onions, garlic, water, and soy sauce. 
  2. Cook over medium-high heat until boiling, then bring down to a simmer and cook for 15-30 minutes, smashing with a spoon to release juices and break up fruit.
  3. Let cool and then transfer to a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. (It will still be somewhat chunky because the skin is in there -- but that's good!)
  4. In you stock pot, melt the Earth Balance or butter and combine it with the flour. Whisk and then add in the milk a little at a time until it makes a thick paste. Cook for a couple minutes, stirring constantly.
  5. Then add your pureed soup in batches, whisking to combine with this roux.
  6. Then add in your Parmesan or nutritional yeast.
  7. Let cook on the stove and have the flavors mingle for and 15 minutes or so. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  8. Serve with delicious crusty no-knead loaf.

My soup turned out orange because I used so many different color tomatoes, but yours might be a rich red, a bright yellow, or even green, depending on which fruits you use. Whatever the case, we ate one Ball jar up right away and froze the other (after letting it cool completely in the glass jar) to eat later.

Which reminds me! I'm doing another freezer month of dinners and other foods, hopefully in time for September. I'm planning my big cook for this weekend, and I hope to share the recipes in the weeks following. It's that time of year when the days are getting shorter, the weather's getting cooler, and having some extra meals stocked up just makes sense.

What's your favorite way to use up tomatoes?

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