tomato

My Favorite Tomato Soup Recipe {Paleo}

I’m pretty sure most people would agree, there’s nothing quite like a tasty tomato soup.  When done right, a tomato soup can be the fix for well, just about anything really.  Makes the tummy happy and brings smiles cheek to cheek.  Best of all, to make a good one, you really don’t need to get complicated.  It’s best, I find, when kept nice and simple.  I’ve been playing around for years with variations… this is by far my favorite yet.  I’m actually enjoying some as I write this very post.  ;)

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I’ve made this same recipe three times this week.  Crazy, I know.  I never make the same thing back to back, but we really liked this one.  It seemed liked each time I’d make a new batch, it’d get gobbled up within minutes and then we’d just be left staring at each other, an empty pot, wishing we had more.  The mister said it was his fave soup I’ve made in a while… and was in total disbelief that there was no cream in this bad boy.  It’s so creamy tasting, without any diary whatsoever.  How in the world that happened, I do not know, but I like it lots.

Beyond simply wanting more, there was actually a method to my tomato-making madness though.  I was determined to make sure that this recipe was spot-on before posting it.  With something like a tomato soup, where the main ingredient- the tomato- comes in so many varieties, I felt like I had to test it with different tomatoes to make sure it’d work consistently regardless of the type of tomatoes used.  I worried that if I made it with cherry tomatoes and then you bought Romas, it might not work the same.  So I tested it three different times, each with a different type of tomato.  It was fun, I felt like a kitchen chemist. ;)

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My friend Caroline has a plethora of amazing cherry tomatoes growing in her garden… still, in November.  Lucky gal.  Thing is, she doesn’t like tomatoes.  Crazy, I know.  So when I’d popped by her house the house day for a quick hello, I unexpectedly got to leave with pounds and pounds of perfectly ripe cherry tomatoes.  It felt like Christmas had come early.

I snacked on a bunch, made salads galore, and then made this…  so we can all thank Caroline for this recipe I suppose, for it was her little tomatoes that started this whole craze.  I made the first batch and was thrilled.  It was my fave tomato soup recipe yet.  Then I got my hands on some large classic cluster tomatoes and decided to try again, jus to make sure it wasn’t a fluke.  Again, it was a hit.  It occurred to me though- what about those folks who just want to get what’s least expensive, or maybe don’t have any other options at the store besides Romas, what about them?  So I bought a couple of pounds of Romas and tried again.  It made no difference; time and time again, this recipe was on point.

I’m convinced it’s the roasting.  Roasting the tomatoes first allows their flavors to be enhanced, creating a delicious tart sweetness.  That flavor doesn’t exist raw, but once roasted, it shines.  Adding the balsamic vinegar was key, I’m convinced… often, people add sugar to tomatoes when roasting them.  It helps them to caramelize.  I didn’t want to add sugar though, so I opted for vinegar.  I knew it would have the same effect, while adding a little zing to it too.  I love when I make good decisions.  ;)

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So we’ve been eating tomato soup all week.  We had a soup and salad night, we had it with some crispy herbed- chicken, we had it with some crab, and of course, we had it with a grilled cheese, too.  I couldn’t resist; that marriage is unavoidable, undeniably delicious.  I’m been trying to minimize my intake of grains and dairy lately, so I made a grilled cheese for the man only- this his lunch yesterday.  But then, it stared at me.  It stared me down fierce.  Look at that cheese… I just had to have a bite.  There’s a reason that partnership is so classic- grilled cheese and tomato soup is an unbeatable pairing, there’s just no denying it.  (For those who follow my Instagram, you’ve likely seen the tomato soup marathon lately… been going crazy HERE.)

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The soup itself is made totally dairy-free… but just for fun, I made some little parmesan crisps for the top.  They add little crunch and fun.  I’m a fan.  :)

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makes four servings

INGREDIENTS

to roast tomatoes…

2 lbs fresh tomatoes (any variety)

3 tbsp olive oil

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar

 
for the soup…

1/2 cup chopped carrot (1 large guy)

1/2 cup chopped celery (1 large stalk)

2 cups diced yellow onion (1 medium onion)

1 tbsp chopped garlic (2 large cloves)

1/2 cup chopped fresh basil

1 bay leaf

1 cup chicken broth (homemade or good quality store-bought)

1/2 tsp herbs de Provence

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

2 tbsp ghee or butter

 

optional garnish: fresh basil and parmesan crisps (see below)

note: I use an immersion blender for all soups- makes life soo much easier!  I use THIS one- it comes with a blender and food processor- double bonus.

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My many tomato experimentations…

Caroline’s glorious little guys above, some clusters and Romas below.

Use whatever you have, or mix and match- it simply won’t matter :)

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DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 450 degrees

Slice tomatoes in half or quarters (small guys in half, medium to large ones in quarters)

Lay tomatoes on a large baking sheet- add the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper

Toss to coat

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Flip tomatoes face down, skin side up

Roast in the oven for 15 minutes

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Meanwhile, begin preparing the remaining ingredients…

Chop carrots, onion, celery, garlic, and basil

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Add the ghee or butter to a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat

Add the onions, carrots, celery, garlic, bay leaf, herbs de Provence, salt, and pepper

Saute for about 5 minutes, uncovered, stirring occasionally

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When tomatoes are done, remove them from the oven…

they should look a little wrinkly and be sitting in lots of juice

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Add the tomatoes along with all of the juice from the baking sheet into the pot with the veggies

(That juice is full of flavor!)

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Add the basil and chicken broth

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Cover, lower heat, and let simmer for 30 minutes

(it should be just barely bubbling- a low heat, just high enough to get a nice simmer going)

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Once done, remove the bay leaf

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If using a hand-mixer, blend right in the pot until smooth and creamy

If using a blender, pour the soup into the blender and blend away

(You may need to do this in batches)

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I love immersion blenders… makes everything so much easier :)

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That’s it!

Taste and adjust seasonings as desired :)

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If you’d like to make parmesan crisps, it’s super easy…

Just grate some cheese (any hard cheese will do-

Asiago, parmesan, a sharp white cheddar such as Dubliner, etc)

Use the smallest grater you have- a fine shred is best for this

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On a baking sheet (I use my toaster baking sheet and do this in the toaster),

make small little piles of grated cheese

To get haystack looking ones, make the piles sparse-

the more cheese you add, the more of a blob it will be ;)

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Bake on a high heat for just a few minutes, until crispy

That’s it

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Ladle soup into bowls…

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Top with fresh basil and a few parmesan crisps…

Enjoy!

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About Me

Hi, I'm Natalie! I like to cook, eat, and adventure. I live in a little home with an itty-bitty kitchen, a crazy feline, and a very hungry boyfriend. Lots of cooking and devouring goes down here. Farmer's markets inspire me, as do the seasons and travel. I create simple recipes using wholesome real food. Enjoy!

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