Summer Tomato Soup

Summer Tomatoes

August is now behind us on the central coast and the good tomatoes have finally made their way into the market… in abundance!  Cherry, brandywine, cherokees, romas, green zebras, and the outstanding candy like dry farmed early girls were practically jumping out of their baskets and flats begging to come with me today at market.  However, I had one variety in mind because tonight I’m making my favorite tomato soup.  The lucky winners? A combination of cherokee purples and dry farmed early girls.  They’re my favorite variety for soup because they have a wonderful flavor and a great color.

Red Onions, Garlic, Basil, Oregano, & Rosemary

1 mix flat of Cherokee Purple tomatoes (or other similar flavorful heirloom variety) & early girls
3 sweet yellow onions, sliced
1 bulb of garlic
Olive oil, (enough to coat the bottom of a stock pot)
Fresh herbs (oregano, thyme, basil, & etc)
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 cup cooking sherry
Kosher salt
*Optional creme fresh or sour cream for garnish if serving immediately.
*2 tbsp lemon juice or 1/2 tsp citric acid for each quart jar if putting up.

Bring large pot of water and 2 tablespoons of salt to a boil.  While the water is heating, wash and core tomatoes and set aside until the water boils.  Then in a second large stock pot heat olive oil and cook onions, garlic, herbs, 3 tablespoons of salt, and red pepper flakes over medium heat.  While the onions are cooking begin the process for peeling the tomatoes and then add them to the onions, garlic, and herbs.  Continue peeling and adding until all off the tomatoes are in the pot, add the cooking sherry, and turn the heat to low.  Simmer for 1 hour uncovered and stirring  occasionally.

Tomato Soup

Once tomatoes have cooked for an hour puree the mixture using a hand blender and then continue cooking on low for another hour, stirring occasionally, until to reduce and concentrate the flavors.  Once soup has cooked for two hours begin tasting and add salt one tablespoon at time.  Continue cooking a half hour at a time if flavors need to be concentrated further.  When you’re satisfied with the flavor remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.

Have 12 clean sterilized jars and a 2 quart pitcher ready for filling for when soup has finished cooking.  Add 2 tablespoons lemon juice or 1/2 teaspoon citric acid to each jar.  Using the pitcher pour the soup into the quart jars, clean rims if needed, and seal with lids and bands.  Place jars into the boiling water bath canner and process for 45 minutes.  When finished remove from canner and let cool completely.  Label and store in cool dry place until ready to use.  Refrigerate any jars that have not sealed after completely cooled.

When ready to serve, garnish with fresh basil and creme fresh.


16 thoughts on “Summer Tomato Soup

    • Incredibly easy. The only part that takes effort is peeling the tomatoes. Oh, and your homemade bread will come in handy for a grilled cheese to go with the soup. Once you’re feeling adventurous with your bread making try making kalmata olive bread and then doing the grilled cheese with manchego. The nice thing is anything works.

    • BTW, so easy that I never measure out the ingredients. I usually just throw things into a big pot. This was actually the first time measured anything. If you feel it need more sherry, onions, garlic, salt, etc, add it and make it your own!

  1. I’ve just come across your blog and love what you are doing with fruits and vegetables. You have inspired me to dig out my favorite tomato soup recipe, although in New Jersey I have to make do with fewer varieties. And I must try the chipotle barbeque sauce.

    • Michele – Thank you for your kind words. I wouldn’t worry about having fewer varieties to choose from because all that really matters is that they have a wonderful flavor. Have fun souping!


  2. Your soup looks beautiful! The tomatoes from our garden have just started coming in last week, after a long summer of waiting. Soon I’ll have tons to make soup with 🙂 Thanks for sharing your version.

    • Thank you Lynn! My cherries are just starting to come in as well but I’m still waiting on my beefstake. Good luck with soup & and I hope you like it!

  3. I am really, very excited to try this recipe, but am having a terrible time trying to find out what a “flat” of tomatoes is…. if i could even just get the dimension of a “flat” I could figure out the rest… or a weight… any help would be very much appreciated

  4. Hello there! I love your blog and made this soup. Can you please let me know the size of your jars. I realized after I made the soup that I assumed you used used quart jars. I used pint sized jars, so I halved the amount of lemon juice to 1 TBSP. Also, do you use fresh juice? Again, I assumed it was fresh. I’ve heard you should use bottled lemon juice as the acidity is uniform. Normally I would ask my Mom and Sister for advice, but these are gifts for them! Cheers, Bonnie

    • Hi Bonnie,
      These are going to make great gifts! And the tomato soup with grilled cheese on a really nice olive bread with manchego in the winter is one of my favorite comfort food meals. It’s just perfect for a dreary rainy day.

      To answer your questions. I use everything; pints, half pints (my favorite size), and quarts. It’s usually whatever I have on hand.

      I do use fresh lemon juice but I make sure to use Eureka or Lisbon lemons and never Meyer – they aren’t high enough in acid.

      Please do not hesitate if you have any more questions.

      All the best,

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