Prep 40 mins
Cook 2 hrs
Use your garden-fresh veggies and herbs in the summer or use your garden veggies and herbs that are frozen for winter use. Except for onions and garlic, which generally lose flavor when frozen raw, I freeze my extra summer crops (note that tomatoes should be allowed to ripen before freezing) and make a large pot of this soup in the winter. I came up with this by simply throwing things in an 8qt pot. I've since made it 4 more times and it really hits the spot on a cold winter day. It's gotten from those who've gotten some of my extras that didn't fit in my freezer (I tend to make as much as I need to use up my extra tomatoes).
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 large Spanish onions, chopped
- 2 large carrots, chopped
- 4 stalks celery, chopped
- 8 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 red peppers, chopped
- 8 lbs fresh tomatoes (This is an estimate, the "true" measurement is a gallon ziploc bag full or whatever fills my 8 quart)
- 1 tablespoon basil pesto (pureed basil and garlic with a little olive oil)
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage
- 8 fresh thyme sprigs
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste (I used homemade, made with garlic and bay leaves)
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
- 1 quart chicken stock or 1 quart vegetable stock
- Sauté first 5 ingredients in olive oil until soft in an 8-10 quart pot.
- Make a bundle of the sage, thyme and bay leaves by wrapping them with string in cheesecloth (you can tie the string to a pot handle to make it easier to remove later).
- Add remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours. Let cool.
- Puree through a food mill fitted with a medium blade. The use of a medium blade gives you a soup with plenty of pulp (you can adjust blade size if you like). Reheat and adjust seasonings as needed. Add a splash of heavy cream before serving if you want cream of tomato soup.
- If you don't have a food mill you can also make this a semi-chunky soup, but I'd recommend a smaller dice for onions, carrots, celery and red peppers.
- To make a sauce, return to pot after pureeing and let it continue to simmer over low heat until it reaches the desired consistency.