Easy Garden Fresh Tomato Basil Soup #SundaySupper

Preserve the taste of summer with this Easy Garden Fresh Tomato Basil Soup. Come January, you’ll be thanking yourself!

Creamy Tomato Soup made from fresh garden tomatoes. Perfect for freezing!

If I had to choose a single comfort food to live on for the rest of my life, I would choose tomato soup and grilled cheese. Some people go for mashed potatoes, melty macaroni and cheese, or burgers and fries. But on my weariest days, nothing seems to soothe my tattered spirit quite like a humble bowl of tomato soup.

It may seem like a strange time of year to be talking about a hot bowl of soup, but with droves of plump, ruby tomatoes appearing everywhere, I figure there’s no better time to stock up on fresh tomato soup than right now.

Garden fresh tomato soup is the best way to put your tomatoes to use!

I’ve been looking for an easy, from scratch tomato soup recipe for awhile. A long time ago I made a roasted tomato soup that was heavenly, but it was also time consuming and used canned tomatoes. I wanted a recipe that called for fresh tomatoes and could be made in about 30 minutes.

Luckily, this recipe fits the bill. Common pantry staples and about 40 minutes of your time is all it takes to make a giant vat of this stuff. The most time consuming aspect is chopping the tomatoes and onions, which I assume could be done with a food processor if you have one. Beyond that, all it takes is a lot of “add that to the pot” and the occasional stir.

Creamy Tomato Basil Soup made from fresh garden tomatoes.

For minimal effort, you’ll be rewarded with sweet, flavorful soup that tastes like summer poured itself into your bowl.  I was surprised how little seasoning the soup needed. It actually tasted quite good without any added salt, pepper, or basil, but I gave it a small dose of all three for good measure. The great thing about making your own soup at home is you get to control the flavor. Want it creamier? Replace some of the broth with milk or cream. Want it spicy? Stir in a little cayenne pepper. Want a little smokiness? Smoked paprika would be lovely.

I’m pretty low maintenance when it comes to things like this so I chose not to seed or peel the tomatoes. If you want a perfectly smooth soup, you’ll need to do both. But if you like your soup to have just a bit more texture, this recipe is perfect. And by perfect, I mean it coats the outside of a grilled cheese sandwich like a champ.

Easy Fresh Tomato Soup--the perfect way to use up your garden tomatoes!

Now, a few notes about the process. I tried to use my blender to blend the soup and had a boiling hot tomato VOLCANO erupt all over my kitchen (and my white capris–why, oh WHY, would I wear white capris while making tomato soup??). Seriously, it’s a good thing no one walked in on me because I probably would’ve been arrested for murder. It was a tomato blood bath in there.

I was actually able to blend the soup after draining off the liquids and just blending up the solids, but this was the last push I needed to finally get an immersion blender. You might want to consider it too. It’ll save you time and laundry detergent…at least that’s what someone told me. Ahem.

Make a big batch of Garden Tomato Soup to freeze and enjoy all winter long!

Today for #SundaySupper, we’re discussing all kinds of ways we can preserve the tastes of summer. Lord knows we can all use a little whiff of fresh basil when the polar vortex rolls around. Truthfully, I’m terrified of canning things, but I do a good bit of freezing, and that’s exactly what I did for this recipe. Normally, I would make a third of this recipe for an average weeknight dinner for the two of us. But this time around I made a big batch and was able to freeze 4 quarts of it for easy, comforting dinners this winter. If you’d like, you can double or triple this and freeze a lot more. Just make sure you have a BIG pot!

There’s no real trick to freezing, but here’s what I do. I place a quart size freezer bag in a 2 cup measuring cup. The cup helps it to stand open and cuts back on mess. Then I pour the soup in until it’s about 2/3 full, squeeze out as much air as I can, then seal it up. I freeze the bags flat on a baking tray for easier storage then stack them up to pull out when I need them. Just make sure to label them so you don’t wonder what that odd colored bag of liquid in your freezer is (trust me, it’s happened before).

How To Freeze Fresh Garden Tomato Soup

Be sure to check out all the other great ideas the #SundaySupper team is sharing below the recipe!

Easy Garden Fresh Tomato Basil Soup
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: Makes 4½ quarts
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 6 cups chopped yellow onions (About 2 very large onions)
  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 12 cups chopped tomatoes (I used a variety of kinds and didn't peel, but you can peel if you like)
  • 6 cups chicken broth (or swap vegetable broth)
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • Basil, to garnish
  • Cream, if desired
Instructions
  1. In a large (at least 6 quart- bigger is even better!) heavy pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions and saute for 5-7 minutes, or until they've started to soften. Add the balsamic, sugar, and garlic and saute for an additional 2-3 minutes, or until garlic is fragrant.
  2. Stir in the chopped tomatoes and bring the mixture to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes, uncovered, stirring occasionally.
  3. Stir in the chicken broth and bring the mixture back to a simmer. Simmer another five minutes then taste. Season with salt and pepper as desired.
  4. Use an immersion blender to blend the soup into the consistency of your choosing. You can make it totally smooth or leave some chunks. I personally like a few chunks. You can also blend this in your blender, but I recommend draining off the liquid and just blending the solids to avoid a blender explosion! Once the solids are blended, add them back to the liquid and stir to combine.
  5. To serve, spoon the soup into bowls and top with sliced fresh basil. Swirl with half and half or heavy cream, if desired.
  6. To freeze, allow the mixture to cool then ladle it into freezer safe containers or quart size freezer bags. Freeze bags laying flat. Thaw soup in the fridge overnight then reheat on the stovetop.

Recipe adapted from Care2.com 

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