This tomato soup is reminiscent of a simple summer dish flavored with local herbs and often served in Tuscany. While tomato soup seems most likely paired with grilled cheese, very often in Italy you find it paired with egg-based dishes, like frittatas.
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As my summer tomato plants bloom and grow and transform into scarlet globes of seasonal flavor, I will often make this soup late in the season. And as we enter early fall and I’m saturated with what seems like bushels of tomatoes and am looking for any and every way to prepare them, I’m once again… making this soup. It’s really good and satisfying.
I prefer to use plum tomatoes because they’re meatier and less watery, but any variety will do. I love to grow the Plum variety not only because they taste so good, are amazing in sauces, but they also freeze exceptionally well. I keep them whole and simply store in a freezer bag. Perfect for adding to soups and sauces throughout the year.
Fresh Garden Tomato Soup
4 cups chopped fresh tomatoes (I prefer plum tomatoes, but any fresh from your garden or market will do… or substitute 2 cans of plum tomatoes with their juices)
2 tablespoons butter
1 slice onion, chopped
4 whole cloves, minced
1/2 cup thinly sliced celery
1/2 cup thinly sliced leek
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons white sugar, or to taste
3 fresh basil leaves (plus a few leafs to garnish)
In a stockpot, over medium heat, melt the butter and saute the celery, leek, onion, and garlic until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the flour and cook for another minute.
Add the tomatoes, and chicken broth and basil leaves. Bring to a boil, and gently simmer for about 15 – 20 minutes, allowing the flavors to blend. Remove from heat and run the mixture through a food mill into a large bowl, or pan. Sometimes, I also use only my immersion blender – which makes it super easy with less mess, but yields a somewhat chunkier soup. We like it both ways.
Season with sugar and salt, and adjust to taste. Serve warm in bowls, garnished with crostini slices or large croutons.