I was taxiing my kids driving down the road today – a typical occurrence for this mom of four – and noticed the breeze blowing the leaves off the trees. The fall colors are starting to show too. And it made me think of soup. It did. Because when the leaves start to change color and fall to the ground it starts to get colder up here in the north. And what better meal is there on a chilly fall day than a homemade bowl of soup with some crusty bread? It warms me up just thinking of it. One of my favorites is good ol’ tomato soup. As a kid it was usually the store-bought canned kind, served with a grilled cheese sandwich on white bread. Sometimes my mom would bring out her own homemade tomato soup that she had canned, filled with chunks of tomato and carrots. That was my favorite.
While I don’t have my mom’s recipe to share here, I do have my own version of made-from-scratch tomato soup that I make from my roasted tomato sauce. I don’t can it, but I did try freezing it this year and look forward to serving it this winter when the snow starts flying. I might even serve it with grilled cheese sandwiches made with whole-grain bread, or maybe a rosemary flatbread topped with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese, or just a thick slice of warm crusty bread. All of them would be delicious dipped in this roasted tomato soup. Even though this looks like a long recipe, don’t be turned off. You can make the roasted tomato sauce ahead of time. The onion, carrots, and celery can be chopped earlier in the day as well. And an immersion blender is a great time saver since the soup can be blended right in the same pot it’s cooked in. The best reason to make this soup is the taste. It’s filled with herbs; and the flavor of a homemade tomato soup is so much better than anything you can get out of can. Is it healthy? Well, tomatoes are filled with lycopene and beta carotene, and I used a lower sodium chicken broth along with fat-free evaporated milk. So it’s a little lower in sodium (if you don’t add the kosher salt), and lower in fat, making it a healthy lunch or dinner choice. It also calls for roasted tomato sauce, for which you can find directions here. Enjoy! Do you have any favorite fall soups? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below. If you’ve enjoyed this post would you consider sharing it on Facebook or Twitter?
Roasted Tomato Soup
- 2 Tbsp. Extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 c. diced sweet onion
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 carrot diced
- 1 stalk celery sliced thin
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 Tbsp. flour
- 4 c. lower-sodium chicken broth
- 4 c. roasted tomato sauce
- 2 tsp. dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp. white pepper
- 2 Tbsp. dried basil divided
- 12 oz. skim evaporated milk 1 can
- 1 tsp. kosher salt if desired
- Strip rosemary and thyme from their stems. Measure out the 2 Tbsp. of flour into a small bowl.
- Heat 2 Tbsp. Extra-virgin olive oil in large sauce pan over medium heat and sauté onion, garlic, sliced celery, diced carrot, rosemary, and thyme till vegetables are somewhat tender. You should be able to stick a fork into the carrots, but they shouldn't be mushy.
- Add flour to the sautéed vegetables, stirring continuously till all the flour is absorbed. Quickly pour in the chicken broth while continuing to stir. Cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and blend together all the ingredients in the pan using an immersion blender. If you don't have immersion blender, you can try a regular blender - but do it in batches and proceed with caution since the mixture is hot.
- Turn the heat back on to medium and add the roasted tomato sauce, oregano, white pepper, and 1 Tbsp. of the basil. Cook on medium for about 5 more minutes. Do not boil.
- While the tomato mixture is cooking, we need to heat up the milk till it is warm, but not scalded or boiling. I did this by heating it in the microwave in a large (4 c.) glass measuring cup - 30 seconds at a time till it was heated. You could heat it up in a pan on the stove too, but be careful not to scald or boil it.
- Turn off the heat for the tomato mixture and blend it again with the immersion blender till smooth.
- Slowly add 1/2 c. of the hot tomato mixture to the hot milk while constantly whisking the milk. This is done to help prevent the milk from curdling. Continue to add the tomato mixture in amounts of 1/2 c. until you have about 4 c. of the combined tomato and milk, all while continuing to whisk the mixture.
- Slowly add the tomato/milk mixture to the pan, stirring constantly.
- Add the remaining 1 Tbsp. basil to the soup. I like to blend it one more time with the immersion blender, but you don't have to if it's smooth enough for you already.
- Return the soup to the stove and heat it on medium just till it's ready to simmer. Remove from heat. Taste and add kosher salt if desired (though this will increase the sodium in the soup).
- Serve with your favorite crusty bread. Makes about 9 1/2 c.