One of the greatest ironies in life is that tomato soup season does not coincide with tomato season. I think it’s proof that God has a twisted sense of humor. Either that, or a great deal of faith that we would be able to figure something out.
Well, guess what? We did. Canned tomatoes to the rescue! And hothouses! Aren’t we humans so clever? Meh, sometimes. However, in the case of a good tomato soup we definitely can be.
The biggest thing to keep in mind about making tomato soup when it isn’t tomato season, is the tomatoes, themselves. Are you buying those tomatoes from a bazillion miles away that were picked when they were green and have zero flavor? Well, guess what, your soup will have zero flavor, too. You are far better off using a good, quality brand of canned tomatoes (if not your own home-made), and/or fresh tomatoes that are hothouse grown so that they will have close-to-summer-ripened flavor. The rest of the process is easy-peasy. Really.
Simple Tomato Soup Recipe
- 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 2 lbs. fresh tomatoes cut into small chunks, or two 15 ounce canned diced tomatoes
- 1/2 c. white wine
- 1 c. chicken broth (vegetable broth could also be used for a vegan option)
- 1 pinch, or more to taste, chili pepper flakes
- 1 Tbsp. basil, or 1/4 c. thinly sliced fresh basil
- 1/2 tsp. sugar
- 1 Tbsp. orange juice
- salt/pepper to taste
In a large stockpot, put the olive oil and tomatoes. Turn the heat to high and stir until the tomatoes begin to sizzle in the oil. Add the wine and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to a simmer.
Cook the tomatoes for about 15 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients other than the orange juice, and continue to cook for another 5 minutes. If you used fresh tomatoes, you will have skins and seeds that you may not want. Run your tomatoes through a food mill at this time to remove them, or you can skip this step if you don’t mind the texture of the seeds (but you will likely mind).
Put the strained material into a blender and puree until smooth then return the soup to the pot, or put the mix back into the pot and puree with an immersion blender until smooth. Put the pot back onto the stove, add the orange juice and any other seasonings you wish to add more of, and simmer for another 10 minutes. This soup will taste amazing with croutons or a sprinkling of a good, sharp cheddar cheese!