I got quite excited last week when we managed to harvest the first of the tomatoes in our garden, and it was delicious. Learning form last year, I decided to go for a couple of different varieties of heirloom tomatoes and we have a few fruit gradually making their way to being edible. My son is keeping track for us, just as he did with the peas and the broccoli, although stopping him from picking too early can be tricky. When I say ‘garden’, don’t be misled – we have a small city space and our vegetable plot is only about the size of a beach towel, so inevitably we need to supplement supplies. The farmers market is great for that and is such a lovely mix of summer colors at the moment. Plus, it’s nice to get some extra produce to make a few things that preserve some of the flavors of summer for later in the year, as is the theme of this week’s Sunday Supper. I could think of few better ways to enjoy summer flavors for longer than with this delicious roast tomato soup with basil-butter croutons.
Tomato soup is one that can vary so much in how good it is, from watery and/or dulled down with too much cream, to rich and flavorful. This roast tomato soup is definitely on the flavorful end of the scale, with the roasting bringing out all the delicious flavor from the tomatoes, and with a little extra flavor, sweetness and thickness from some additional roasted carrot, onion and garlic. It’s bright and has that taste of summer but is also warming and hearty as well.
Making the soup might technically take some time but there is minimal effort, as you just leave everything to roast, then blend it up with some stock. If you’re freezing, that’s it, otherwise warm it through and make your croutons to go on top. The croutons are really easy as well, and the tasty, buttery crunch, with a slight basil note coming through as well, goes perfectly with the soup. The basil butter can also be frozen, since fresh basil in the winter can be harder to find or just not as good.
This is such a tasty soup that I loved having a little of just now as I made it, but am looking forward to enjoying even more when the weather gets colder and I whip this out of the freezer. I remember last year wiping red soup off my son’s face and hands as he happily enjoyed some tomato soup with us, and am sure we’ll do the same again this year. I might need to make a few batches while the tomatoes are so good.
- 2lb/900g tomatoes
- 4oz/110g carrots
- ½ onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- salt and pepper
- olive oil
- 2 sprig of thyme, or approx ½tsp dried
- 2 cups/480ml of good chicken stock (or vegetable)
- For basil-butter croutons -
- 4tbsp unsalted butter
- 1tbsp fresh basil leaves
- 2tsp lemon juice
- 1-2 slices of bread, crusts removed
- Preheat oven to 375F/190C.
- Slice each of the tomatoes in half across the grain and lay them in an oven dish, cut side up. It's fine if they are quite tightly packed, but have them in one layer.
- Finely chop one clove of garlic and sprinkle it over the top of the tomatoes, along with some salt and pepper, the leaves from 2 sprigs of thyme and around 1-2tbsp of olive oil.
- Scrape or peel the carrots, and chop off the end, peel the onion and cut both into large chunks. Peel the other clove of garlic but leave whole. Toss all with a little olive oil and put in a separate oven dish (or along with the tomatoes, if you have space.
- Place the tomatoes, carrot and onion into he oven and roast for around 1 hour until the tomatoes are starting to caramelize on top, and the carrots are tender.
- Remove from oven and put all in a blender with the stock, making sure you get all the nice juices from the oven dishes (I tend to put some of the stock in the dish to help clean it out then pour in with the rest of the ingredients). Blend until smooth. If freezing, transfer to container(s) suitable for the freezer.
- When using, either immediately or after defrosting, heat the soup through and simmer a few minutes before serving.
- To make the basil butter, mash together the butter, chopped basil and lemon juice until well combined. If you want to freeze, then form it into a ball/log in cling wrap and put in a freezer bag.
- To use, cut off a chunk big enough for the number of bowls you are serving (around 2tbsp is enough for two bowls), melt it in a skillet/frying pan then add small-diced chunks of bread. Cook for a couple minutes until lightly brown and crisp, turn then cook the other side before serving on top of the bowls of soup.
See all the other ideas for preserving summer flavors:
- Blackberry Chia Seed Jam from Books -n- Cooks
- Cherry Lemon Jam from Food Lust People Love
- Chocolate Blackberry Preserves from The Redhead Baker
- Gilded Bluebarb Jam from What Smells So Good?
- Hamburger Dill Chips from A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Piri Piri Hot Sauce from Curious Cuisiniere
- Southwestern Salsa from The Freshman Cook
- Spiced Peach Jam from Cosmopolitan Cornbread
- Spiced Vanilla Rhubarb Jam from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Strawberry Balsamic Syrup from Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Watermelon Butter from Palatable Pastime
- Blueberry Peach Fruit Roll-Ups from Cupcakes & Kale Chips
- Dried Pineapple from Take A Bite Out of Boca
- Fermented Spicy Daikon Spears + A Cocktail from Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- Simple Pickled Cabbage from Simply Healthy Family
- How to Freeze Blueberries from Pies and Plots
- Peach Crisp from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Roast Tomato Soup with Basil-Butter Croutons from Caroline’s Cooking
- Summer Veggies from Momma’s Meals
- Raspberry Vinegar from Magnolia Days
- Black Radish Pickles from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
- Bread & Butter Pickles from Adventures in All Things Food
- Homemade Bread and Butter Pickles from Life Tastes Good
- Mustard Pickles from Jane’s Adventures in Dinner
- Pickled Cherries with Five Spices from Nosh My Way
Preserving in oil or butter
And for even more help and support: 5 Food Preservation Tips from Sunday Supper Movement.
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