A few weeks ago I found myself with too many tomatoes and too little time to do anything with them. We were going away for the weekend, so I put them in the refrigerator and forgot about them. Three weeks later I decided I needed to throw them away. But when I looked at them, there were a few bad ones but most were still good.
I decided to run them through the food mill and freeze them. But wait, I still have several jars of tomato puree, from last year, in the freezer, so I decided I would make a tomato soup. I didn't have a recipe but I know onion makes it sweet and garlic and thyme go well with tomatoes, so I started creating a recipe and it turned out really good.
The end result was so delicious.
Garden Fresh Tomato Soup
10 cups fresh tomato puree
1 large onion, sliced thin on a mandolin
4 oz. butter
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup chopped celery
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
6 sprigs fresh thyme
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
3 Tablespoons canned tomato paste
**as needed: sugar, baking soda and balsamic vinegar
Melt butter in a large pan. Add onions and gently cook until they are soft and melted. Add garlic and celery and sauté until soft. Mix in remaining ingredients. Bring everything to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer until reduced by almost half, about 30 minutes. Taste for seasoning. Remove the thyme sprigs.
Smooth out the soup by running an immersion blender through it to make a nice creamy texture.
Mine tasted a bit metallic, so I added 1/4 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon sugar and 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar.
To serve the soup, make grilled cheese croutons. Just a simple grilled cheese sandwich, then cut into small chunks.
Freeze the leftovers into serving sized proportions. I put mine in pint jars, which are probably 2 servings each.
Yield about 10 cups.
*the next time I make the grilled cheese croutons I will use a crustier bread or just make a chunky, parmesan crouton. My grilled cheese croutons got too soggy too fast.
Important Note: It is not recommended to water bath can tomato soup to store on the shelf. I used canning jars but have stored the soup in the freezer.