Soup’s on!

With our laneway garden a jungle of sturdy green stalks laden with clusters of fleshy roma tomatoes, 2012 is the best year yet for homemade tomato soup.

I even used my own garlic for the first time, and bay leaves from Sandro’s venerable bush, which will soon be heading back to the basement for the winter.

If the warm weather keeps up, we’ll harvest enough ripe tomatoes to fill the freezer with soup and sauce. But it will be sad to say goodbye to the garden and to all our wonderful farmers markets.

Back to the soup! The original recipe came from chef Chris Squire in London, Ont. You’ll have to judge for yourself whether to add broth — I didn’t need any this year — and how much milk or cream to add at the end since you don’t want it too thin. A swirl of yogurt  may be all you need.

If you’ve got a food mill gathering dust in the bottom of your (or your grandmother’s)cupboard, haul it out and get cranking to extract the full flavour from all the ingredients, leaving tomato skins and seeds behind.

If you don’t have a mill or a sieve, peel tomatoes with a serrated peeler (don’t even think about dumping them in boiling water!!) before cooking. Purée the finished soup with a stick blender or throw it in the blender. Whatever you do, enjoy!

Garden Variety Tomato Soup

Yield: 5-6 cups. Freezes well.

Ingredients:

2 tbsp olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

2 large carrots, peeled and chopped

2 stalks celery, chopped

12-15 plum tomatoes or 8-10 medium to large tomatoes, quartered (3.5-4 lb)

1 cup chicken stock, optional

2 bay leaves

6 parsley stalks

2 tsp sugar

2 tsp salt, or to taste

2 cloves

Good pinch of cayenne pepper

A few basil leaves (optional)

1 cup milk or cream

Directions:

Heat oil in a large, heavy pot. Add onions, carrots and celery and stir to coat. Cover and cook over low heat 5 minutes or until softened. Stir in tomatoes and cook another 5 minutes. Add parsley, bay leaves, cloves, sugar and salt.

Simmer, uncovered, 45 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Remove bay leaves and cloves, throw in basil and purée soup in a food mill. If you don’t have a mill, pass the finished soup through a metal sieve, pressing vegetables down hard with the back of a spoon. Discard pulp.

Reheat soup gently and add milk to desired consistency. I only added ½ cup this year to keep the soup nice and thick. Add more salt or sugar as needed.

To garnish, swirl in plain yogurt and sprinkle with chopped chives, parsley or basil.

6 thoughts on “Soup’s on!

  1. Now can you just see me making tomato soup.  Not in this lifetime.  Bring on the Campbells.  How are you and much love.

    >________________________________ >From: Cynthia David >To: eugenee226@rogers.com >Sent: Sunday, September 2, 2012 8:19:15 PM >Subject: [New post] Soup’s on! > >cynthiadavid posted: “With our laneway garden a jungle of sturdy green stalks laden with clusters of fleshy roma tomatoes, 2012 is the best year yet for homemade tomato soup. I even used my own garlic for the first time, and bay leaves from Sandro’s venerable bush, which ” >

  2. Cynthia, this makes me want to rush out the door and start picking.
    What do you recommend that i make for my 2 year old boy, he has a healthy appetite for cheese.
    cheers, peter

    • Peter! Did your mom make you macaroni and cheese and grilled cheese sandwiches when you were young? Of course they’re even better with whole wheat pasta and multi-grain bread … depends on how picky your little guy is.

  3. Hi Cynthia!

    Hope all is well with you! I had a foodie question and wondered if you could share your wisdom.

    Have you heard of a French candy (almond paste and orange) called calisson (sp?) and would you happen to know if it’s available for purchase in Toronto?

    I’ve been enjoying your blog, hope you are getting lots out of it.

    Best regards as always,

    Nishi

    Nishi Dias | Night Day Productions Video Content and Social Media Coaching 416-821-8669 Nishi@NightDay.ca http://www.NightDay.ca

    Sent from my iPhone

    • Nishi! Thanks for writing. I do remember those yum white marzipan tiles from Aix en Provence. The only mention I see in Toronto is at Daniel et Daniel caterers at Carlton and Parliament, 416 968-9275. If I hear of another spot I’ll let you know. xcy

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