The food out here

Homestyle tomato soup

Posted 6/21/22

Tomato salad, BLT, Caprese salad, tomato sandwich, cut tomatoes with salt, cheeseburgers with some tomato on top. Not uncreative options but particularly common all the same.

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The food out here

Homestyle tomato soup


Tomato salad, BLT, Caprese salad, tomato sandwich, cut tomatoes with salt, cheeseburgers with some tomato on top. Not uncreative options but particularly common all the same.

Everyone loves a good, fresh tomato, and in most of those recipes, they like it unprocessed. But what happens when you’ve exhausted those options? Like me, you might not want to see a good tomato go to waste, even if it is on its way out.

Enter the saucepot, or in the case of the recipe I’m about to share, enter the Dutch oven.

Folks, I’m not going to lie to you: when I walk by the kitchen and my wife has the big ceramic-coated cast iron Dutch oven on the stove, I get excited.

Tomatoes are unsurprisingly excellent for soups and sauces. And the big pot brings a touch of magic.

Tomato soup may have been made popular by Andy Warhol, but it was made tasty by none other than Mrs. Hill.

With an overabundance of tomatoes at our disposal, and little else besides a few staples, she set to work on a thick and creamy homestyle tomato soup.

As she prepared it, she kept telling me it was different from the recipe she was using, but failed to divulge her secret alterations. Even so, it looked as good as the pictures from her handy-dandy Pinterest reference, and in the end, I was able to determine that she substituted a dollop of sour cream in the finished soup. That made it all the more decadent and wholesome.

As she rendered the tomatoes down and mixed them together with the other seasonings with her stick blender, I thought about a cozy winter night, eating tomato soup and grilled cheese after being outside in the snow. And while it may not be cold enough out to warrant the warm entrée, the sweet and savory indulgence of this traditional bowl is so delicious, you can enjoy it no matter the season.

As she delivered the soup to the table and we started to eat, I noticed a thick texture to the soup. It’s not as thin as Campbell’s-style soup, which is often water or milk in tomato paste.

This recipe held a firm grasp on the fleshy body of the original vegetable. If you prefer a thinner soup, then you can always blend it more, adding milk or other liquids to build the desired texture. However if you ask me, the thick soup is a good way to get the most out of the meal.

The way out here, when your wife decides to make soup, you let her. Whether compared to the canned stuff or to the recipe that brought on the idea, you let her do whatever she deems needful to deliver a meal you’ll never hope to enjoy elsewhere.

As for our bowl, it ended the evening empty once again. As we begin to pick more and more tomatoes from our crop, I anticipate leaving the old Dutch oven on the stove as a hint for my master-chef wife.

Creamy Tomato Soup

Recipe courtesy of

  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil
  • 1 head garlic, separated into cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 medium-size sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 4 pounds ripe tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 quart vegetable broth, homemade or high quality
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, cracked
  • 1 teaspoon sea or kosher salt
  • 5/16 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream, optional

Heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the quartered tomatoes on the baking sheet, and then sprinkle the garlic cloves throughout the tomatoes.

Drizzle the tomatoes and garlic with the olive oil. Using your clean hands, rub the oil into the tomatoes and garlic cloves, leaving them evenly distributed throughout the baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and roast for 1 hour, or until the tomatoes are very soft and starting to caramelize around the edges.

When the tomatoes have 30 minutes remaining, start the onions. Heat a Dutch oven over medium heat.

Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and heat until it shimmers. Add the onions and saute until soft, stirring occasionally, 6-7 minutes. Sprinkle the onions with the dried basil and oregano and saute until fragrant, 1-2 minutes.

Add the balsamic vinegar to deglaze the pot; cook until the vinegar stops bubbling and reduces by half. Add the broth and fresh thyme to the pot, increase the heat to high, and bring the liquid to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer 10-15 minutes to infuse the broth with flavor. Turn off the burner.

Remove the roasted garlic cloves from the baking sheet—use tongs; it will be hot. Set aside until cool enough to handle, about 5 minutes.

Fish out the fresh thyme, and shake to release any leaves. Add the roasted tomatoes to the broth and onion mixture. Squeeze the roasted garlic from its skin and add to the soup mixture.

Add the heavy cream, if using, and 1/4 cup fresh basil. Using an immersion blender, blend the soup in the pot until smooth. Add additional broth if needed to reach the desired consistency.

Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with additional fresh basil. Serve immediately.

Store leftovers in a tightly sealed container in the fridge for up to one week, or in the freezer in an airtight container for up to three months.

tomato, soup, tomato soup


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