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My husband loves to tell this story about his great-aunt spending the afternoon making him potato soup only to put the bowl in front of him and hear him exclaim, “I wanted the red kind!” He confused tomato soup with potato soup and caused quite a stir. I tease him now when I make soup and ask, “Do you want potato soup or the red kind?” even though he definitely knows the difference.
Around this time of year we always have an overwhelming amount of tomatoes because harvest is over and the plants are bursting. I always know I can whip up a giant pot of tomato soup and freeze the soup for the days and weeks to come. I usually freeze it in individual containers or Ziploc bags so I can reheat a single bowl at a time. It helps reduce waste because you don’t want to cook, freeze, heat, and re-freeze soup.
Since our garden grows so many tomatoes I make this soup with fresh tomatoes so they don’t go to waste. It’s easier and just as delicious to use canned diced tomatoes. If you’re going to used the canned diced tomatoes I recommend going with Hunt’s tomatoes without extra spices and seasonings. You’ll need 4 28-oz cans of diced tomatoes to make the ratios work. If you’re using fresh garden-grown tomatoes, you’ll need about 10 cups of diced tomatoes. As I said, this makes a lot of soup so prepare to freeze it for later eating.
To make this tomato soup you’ll need:
- 2 full sticks of unsalted butter (1/2 lb)
- 3 medium onions, diced
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 10 cups of diced tomatoes (or 4 28oz cans of diced tomatoes), undrained
- 1 1/4 cup vegetable broth
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 tbsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp basil
- 1/4 tsp oregano
- 3/4 cup half-and-half
- In a 12-qt stock pot, melt the sticks of butter over medium heat. When melted, add diced onions and cook for 15 - 20 minutes or until onions are translucent but not browned.
- Add flour and stir approximately 3 - 5 until the roux is thickened but not browned.
- Add the tomatoes (undrained), vegetable broth, sugar, salt, pepper, basil, and oregano. Heat to boiling, then reduce heat to low. Simmer for 30 - 45 minutes, frequently stirring so the bottom of the soup doesn't burn.
- Add half-and-half, stir until well-blended.
- Remove from heat and use an immersion blender to puree until smooth. Return to low heat.
- Serve while hot.
- You can add a full basil leaf to the soup while cooking to boost the flavor but be sure to remove it before serving.
- If you do not have an immersion blender you can puree the soup in a regular blender but you must be sure the soup is cool before doing so.
- Soup can be frozen in individual containers or ziploc bags for up to 3 months.
- Serve topped with your favorite combination of mozzarella cheese, green onions, scallions, or croutons.
When you try it, be sure to tag me on Instagram using @honeyandpineco or #honeyandpineco!