Few foods are more satisfying on an autumn afternoon than a bowl of fresh tomato soup with the last of the garden tomatoes. This recipe is simple to prepare, and doubles easily for freezing or canning. Yes, it’s safe for water bath canning, to enjoy throughout the winter! Enjoy.
Ingredients (Makes one large pot; recipe can be easily doubled OR cut in half)
36 medium size Roma tomatoes (this sounds like a lot, but they cook down)
2 large onions, chopped
1 cup of lovage or celery, diced
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons table salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup light cream
2 cups sliced mushrooms (optional; we just really like mushrooms!)
shredded cheese to garnish (optional)
Step 1) Cut tomatoes in half and gently squeeze the seeds into your compost bin. It’s not important to remove all of the seeds, don’t worry, but squeezing out some of the seeds removes excess water and makes better soup. (If you’re in a hurry, skip this step, I won’t tell anyone.)
Step 2) Chop up seeded tomatoes and add to a large pot. Don’t worry about the size of the pieces, as everything will get pureed later anyway. Add onion and celery. Simmer, covered, stirring occasionally over low heat for one hour.
Step 3) After an hour has passed, the tomatoes should have released their liquid and your tomatoes, onions, and celery should appear to be “floating” in tomato juice. If you don’t see much liquid, add a cup of water to the pot.
Step 4) Remove lid from pot. Add brown sugar, salt, and pepper. Simmer over medium heat, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for one to two hours or until all ingredients are very soft.
Step 5) Remove from heat and carefully puree the ingredients in your pot using an immersion blender.
Step 6) *IF YOU ARE WATER BATH CANNING, STOP HERE!* Add pureed mixture to sterilized quart jars and cover with lids and bands, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace. Process in a boiling water bath for 30 minutes. When opening jars over the winter, add sliced mushrooms (optional) and bring to a boil. Allow to cool slightly and add a splash of cream before serving!
If you are NOT water bath canning… carry on…
Step 6) Add sliced mushrooms (optional) to your pureed soup and simmer for an additional 15 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Stir in cream just before serving, and garnish with shredded cheese (optional).