Recipe by FloridaNative
Tomato soup is only as good as the tomatoes that are used to make it, so it is no wonder that this soup is synonymous with the summer months, when the reddest, juiciest, most flavorful specimens are in the market. Also best in this season are the pungent, leafy green herbs that the French call 'fines herbes': parsley, chervil, chives, basil, and tarragon. From the cookbook "Savoring Provence" and posted for ZWT5.
Top Review by Kumquat the Cat's friend
This was a great and unique tomato soup! I only had 1 1/2 pounds of tomatoes, and although I added extra tomato paste, it was not very tomato-ey but it was still excellent, due to the onions and herbs. My BF thought the texture was perfect. The store didn't have any fresh chervil, so in addition to the fresh parsley and basil, I added a dried fines herbes mix. I used only 1 tablespoon oil and substituted 2 cups of water for vegetable stock. This was very provencale tasting. Served it with a salad and rosemary sourdough bread. Added some leftover grated mozzarella. Really delicious!
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
- 2 lbs ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1⁄2 celery, finely chopped
- 6 cups water
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste (to taste)
- kosher sea salt
- fresh ground pepper
- 5 green onions, including tender green tops, thinly sliced
- 1⁄3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1⁄3 cup chopped fresh chervil
- 12 fresh basil leaves, chopped
Directions See How It's Made
- In a large soup pot over medium heat, warm the oil.
- Add the onion and saute until softened, about 1 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes and stir until they release their liquid, about 2 minutes.
- Add the sugar and continue stirring until all the liquid evaporates and the tomatoes begin to stick - or even caramelize - a little on the bottom of the pan, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add half of the celery, the water, and the tomato paste and mix well.
- Season lightly with salt and pepper, then bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer, uncovered, for about 30 minutes.
- Using a hand held blender or a potato masher, partially puree the soup, leaving the tomato fairly chunky. Add the remaining celery and simmer for 5 minutes longer to blend the flavors.
- Just before serving, add the green onions, parsley, chervil, and basil and stir to blend.
- Taste and adjust the seasoning.
- Ladle into bowls and serve.
- NOTE: Chervil is the leaves and root of this parsley family herb; they are edible and have a mild anise flavor. The leaves are a curly and dark green. Chervil is one of the main ingredients in Fines Herbes. Substitutions: parsley or tarragon.