This is a fresh cream of tomato soup that is delicious when made using vine-ripened tomatoes. It’s based on one in Ina Garten’s wonderful cookbook Barefoot Contessa Back To Basics. In Ina’s version, she adds garlic and more salt, as well as using a food mill to process the soup. If you’re concerned about the soup containing seeds or bits of tomato skin, then a food mill can be used instead of the hand blender we use.
In late September and early October, the summertime crops like tomatoes are usually still going strong in our garden, but we’ve eaten about as many fresh tomato’s as we can. So, any recipe that helps preserve that great flavor for seasons where there are no homegrown fresh tomatoes coming out of the garden is a winner. You can serve this immediately or freeze for warming winter meals.
- 3 tablespoons good olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups chopped onions
- 2 carrots, unpeeled and chopped
- 4 pounds vine-ripened tomatoes (5 large), coarsely chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves, lightly packed
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt or more to taste
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup half and half or heavy cream
- Heat olive oil in a large pot over low heat. Add the onions and carrots and sauté until tender.
- Add the tomatoes, sugar, tomato paste, basil, chicken stock, salt, and pepper and stir well.
- Bring the soup to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes or until the tomatoes are tender.
- Add the half and half or cream, and process with a hand blender until the soup is smooth and creamy.
- Reheat after blending and serve warm.
Garnish with julienned fresh basil leaves if desired.