Few culinary experiences are as satisfying and refreshing as a bowl of fresh tomato soup. This garden-to-table delight is a satisfying combination of ripe, garden-fresh tomatoes, complemented by a variety of flavors and textures that is sure to please even the most discerning palates. Crafting this delightful dish requires a thoughtful approach and careful attention to every detail, but the end result is well worth the effort.
- 8 large, ripe tomatoes (approximately 2 lbs.) – cut into wedges
- 2 medium-sized onions, chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- ¼ cup of olive oil
- 1 cup of vegetable broth
- 1 cup of fresh basil leaves, torn
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- Optional: croutons and a dollop of sour cream or yogurt for garnish
1. Begin by preparing your garden-fresh tomatoes. If they’re dirty, thoroughly rinse them under water and remove any stems or leaves. Once they’re clean, slice each tomato into wedges, approximately 8 pieces per tomato.
2. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and minced garlic, sautéing for about 5 minutes or until they are soft and translucent. Be sure to stir occasionally to prevent burning.
3. Next, add the tomato wedges to the pot, along with the salt, pepper, and sugar. Cook this mixture for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes have released their juices and have softened.
4. After the tomatoes have softened, add the vegetable broth and bring the soup to a gentle boil. Allow the soup to simmer for approximately 20 minutes, uncovered.
5. Once the soup has simmered, add the torn basil leaves, reserving a few for garnishing. Allow the soup to simmer for an additional 3-5 minutes.
6. Carefully transfer the hot soup to a blender and puree the mixture until it reaches your desired consistency. Alternately, you can use an immersion blender directly in the pot to blend the soup.
7. Before serving, taste the soup and adjust seasonings as necessary – you may wish to add more salt, pepper or sugar. To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with additional basil leaves and optional croutons and sour cream or yogurt.
History and Curiosities:
Tomato soup has its origins in the Aztec culture, dating back to the 16th century. After the Spanish colonization of the Americas, tomatoes were introduced to Europe, sparking the innovation of various tomato-based dishes. The history of tomato soup as we know it today, however, truly began in the 19th century during the Industrial Revolution. Canned tomato soup made its debut, providing a quick and convenient option for people living in urban areas where fresh produce was often in scarce supply.
This fresh tomato soup recipe showcases the beauty of utilizing garden-fresh ingredients, celebrating the luscious flavor of ripe tomatoes. More than just a warm and comforting dish, this garden-to-table delight connects us to the rich history and diverse culinary traditions that have developed over the centuries. Some interesting curiosities surrounding tomato soup include the belief that it contains healing properties due to its nutrient-packed ingredients, as well as the tradition of serving tomato soup alongside grilled cheese sandwiches in American culture.
In conclusion, this fresh tomato soup recipe is not only a delicious and satisfying dish, but also a testament to the ingenuity of culinary artisans from diverse cultures and traditions. Enjoy this garden-to-table delight as a tasty tribute to the history and versatility of the humble, yet powerful tomato.