While shopping at Berkeley Bowl, I came across the bargain section of fresh produce. Most of the time I won't glance at this section, but a two-pound bag of ripe red tomatoes caught my eye. At only $0.99 per bag, I couldn't pass them up since I had a hankering for a bowl of fresh tomato soup.
The recipe calls for seeded and peeled tomatoes; however, I didn't want to waste time or lose a bunch of juice — especially because the tomatoes were really meaty. Also, once the soup makes its way through the blender, the seeds and skin are virtually undetectable.
Rather than use the conventional basil and thyme, I opted for lime basil and lemon thyme in the soup. Each spoonful of this comforting classic is fresh and flavorful. If you have some end-of-season tomatoes on hand, get started on this soup. You won't be disappointed! Get the recipe after the jump.
2 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, chopped
2 shallots, chopped
2 small carrots, peeled and finely diced
2 tablespoons flour
2 pound fresh tomatoes, chopped, or 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, juices reserved
2 cups reduced-sodium canned chicken broth or make your own
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon fresh lime basil or 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
2 teaspoons fresh lemon thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
Salt and pepper
- In a large nonreactive saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and carrot and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes.
- Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes without allowing to color.
- Add tomatoes with their juices, broth, tomato paste, basil, thyme and bay leaf. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer stirring frequently, 15 minutes. Remove and discard bay leaf.
- In a food processor or blender with caution, puree soup in very small batches until smooth. Return to pan and stir in cream. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Simmer until heated through, 3 to 5 minutes, and serve.
- Soups/Stews, Cream