This tomato soup recipe is the easiest real tomato soup you can make, and takes just 30 minutes start to finish. You can cook it using frozen tomatoes too, and the prepared soup will keep well in the freezer for three months.
Home-grown tomatoes have much more flavour than shop-bought ones because they are grown in soil, rather than a hydroponic growth medium. If you’re lucky enough to be able to grow these vigorous and unfussy plants, chances are you have more tomatoes than you can eat from June to September. But don’t panic – they freeze well without processing. Although they collapse when defrosted they’re still fine for cooking, and lose none of that fabulous flavour.
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped (if available)
1 clove garlic, crushed
750g ripe tomatoes, quartered
400g tin chopped tomatoes
1 litre vegetable stock
Tinned tomatoes are packed in a rich tomato juice, giving them more flavour. The better the quality, the richer the juice. If you don’t want to use tinned tomatoes in your tomato soup recipe you’ll need to reduce it over a low heat for another thirty to sixty minutes, or substitute about 4 tbsp of tomato puree.
The celery in this tomato soup recipe adds depth to the flavour, but if you don’t have any you can substitute a sprig of lovage or a handful of young celeriac leaves. Alternatively add a splash of brandy to compensate.
Some varieties of tomato have thicker, tougher skins than others. If you don’t like pieces of tomato skin in your soup it’s much easier to skin the tomato before cooking it than to seive out the pieces later. Simply nick each tomato across the stem end, and plunge them into boiling water for no longer than thirty seconds. Once cool enough to handle the skins will just slip off ready for composting.
There’s no need to blanch or skin tomatoes before you freeze them. Just wash and wipe them, and put the whole tomatoes into the freezer on a baking sheet. Once they have frozen hard transfer them to sealed plastic bags, where they will keep for six months without deteriorating.
Defrost the tomatoes in a large bowl, as they collapse into pulp when they thaw out. At this stage you can slip the skins off them if you like, but don’t throw the clear liquid away – it’s an important part of the tomato flavour. When you’re weighing it for recipes, just treat the whole mass of pulp and liquid as being ‘tomatoes’.
If you’re working with defrosted tomatoes, skip step 2 and add the frozen tomatoes with the tinned ones at step 3. If you’ve not had time to defrost them you can also add whole tomatoes straight from the freezer at this point. If you want to skin the frozen tomatoes before adding them, pour boiling water over them and you’ll find the skins slip right off.