Garden Fresh Tomato Soup
Soup -- so comforting and warming!
If you grew up with Campbell's Tomato Soup, this might not be the recipe you are looking for. But if you are willing to try something new, with gourmet-delicious, you've come to the right place!
You can make this recipe with all fresh tomatoes (Roma, grape or cherry, but preferably not large tomatoes, which will be juicer and give different results) -- or you can use canned tomatoes -- or half of each! There is no milk or cream added to this recipe -- but a splash of heavy cream at serving time is perfect.
Pair this delicious soup with a delicious grilled sandwich on your homemade bread. There's no place like home for the best food!
Garden Fresh Tomato Soup
Makes 2 quarts
When choosing your ingredients, use home-grown, grass-fed and organic ingredients whenever possible.
2 TBSP butter
2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, coarsely chopped (approx. 1 ½ cups)
1 medium carrot, chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeds removed and cut in ½” pieces
1 ½ TBSP freshly pressed garlic (yes, use this much!)
4 lbs garden fresh tomatoes*, i.e., Roma, cherry or grape (8-9 cups), cut in ½” pieces (no need for precisely cut pieces) *Substitute fresh tomatoes with 2 – 28 oz cans/jars diced or crushed tomatoes or 2 quart jars of your homemade canned tomatoes
2 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth
2 TBSP white rice, uncooked (basmati or jasmine)
2 TBSP sugar
2 TBSP sweet basil, dried or 6 TBSP fresh
1 TBSP Italian seasoning
1-2 tsp Himalayan pink salt (start with 1 tsp, taste-test after cooking)
1 bay leaf
¼ - ½ tsp mixed peppercorns, freshly ground
Cream, used at serving time
In a Dutch Oven or large pot, gently heat the butter, olive oil and onions, and cook until onions are softened (but not browned), approximately 5 minutes. Be careful not to brown!
Add chopped carrot, red bell pepper, fresh tomatoes, garlic, and cook 3-4 minutes more.
If using canned tomatoes, add those now with the broth, bay leaf, salt, uncooked rice, sugar, and seasonings. Cook over medium heat, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for about 30-40 minutes, or until the rice is completely cooked and vegetables are tender. (If using canned tomatoes, cook time is reduced to 20 minutes.) See Pressure Cooker version below.
Remove the bay leaf and using a stick/immersion blender, puree the mixture until smooth. You can also use a blender, following blender instructions for pureeing hot foods (cover vent with a cloth and do in small batches and BE CAREFUL). It is not necessary, but if you want super smooth soup without tomato seeds, you can put the mixture through a sieve/fine strainer to remove the tomato seeds, etc.
Adjust seasoning, if necessary.
To serve: Garnish with a splash of heavy cream, freshly grated Parmesan cheese, pan-toasted croutons. Also ice with a grilled cheese or Rueben sandwich, or open-faced garlic/cheese French bread. A green salad on the side completes this delicious lunch or supper!
How to adjust recipe for Pressure Cooker:
As a general rule, saute the veggies as described in the recipe. When remaining ingredients are added, cook on high pressure for 6 minutes, then natural release the pressure for 10 minutes, release steam and open cooker. Proceed with directions for pureeing, etc.
Serve with pan-toasted croutons (or a grilled sandwich) and green salad for a complete meal!