Thursday, August 6, 2015

Tomato Herb Soup

In the summer when tomatoes are plentiful I am always looking for some really good recipes using tomatoes. I often plant tomatoes and love the Heirloom varieties but this year I failed to plant any at all. However, I have been finding some excellent Heirlooms at veggie markets and grocery stores in our area. For this recipe I wanted a mixture of Heirloom tomatoes.

Tomato Herb Soup is a recipe from one of my most favorite books. A recipe from P. Allen Smith's book, Seasonal Recipes From The Garden. You may be unfamiliar with P. Allen Smith but he is a gardener, landscape architect trained in England and has two homes in the Little Rock, Arkansas area. He also has written many gardening books and this cookbook is his first. Written in 2010 and I have used it often and have found his recipes to be excellent. This recipe was no exception, it is fabulous. I met Allen once at an antique show that I go to every year. He was there as a guest speaker and was very inspirational. I hope to some day visit his Moss Mountain Farm just outside of Little Rock.
Tomato Herb Soup
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
8 fresh thyme sprigs, leaves removed
8 large fresh basil leaves, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 1/2 pounds fresh tomatoes, peeled and cored
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 quart chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
Croutons, for garnish
Melt 8 tablespoons of the butter in a large saucepan, and mix in th olive oil. Then add the onions, thyme leaves, basil, and salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions have wilted, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and tomato paste, and stir to blend. Bring the mixture to a simmer, and continue to simmer for 10 minutes.
Place the flour in a small mixing bowl and add 5 tablespoons of the chicken broth stirring to blend. . Combine the flour mixture with the tomato mixture and add the remaining broth and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent scorching.
Ladle the soup into a food processor and puree until smooth. Return the soup to the saucepan, and add the cream. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Mix in the remaining 4 tablespoons butter. The soup can be served either hot or cold, garnished with croutons.
My Note: I used my immersion blender instead of the food processor.
I used my all-clad 5.5 quart dutch oven but would have liked to have used this little cutie that I purchased recently but it is only a 3 quart pot. But next week when I have friends for lunch I plan to serve this soup and I will warm it in my new Tomato Staub pot.
Anytime I have the opportunity to use fresh herbs from my garden it's always a plus in any recipe and the combination of flavors were excellent.
The aroma was absolutely heavenly with the butter, olive oil, onions, fresh thyme and basil. OMG, this should be "smell a vision" as Emeril would often say. This was one of those moments.


Of course, in our area of N FL we are sweltering with our heat and humidity but never the less, I served this soup hot.
Pared with a Caesar Salad and a glass of a French Rose' wine it made for a very satisfying and light dinner. I also gilded the lily a little and added a sprinkle or two of freshly grated Parmesan cheese, it was excellent. Mr. Picky Eater gave this soup a huge thumbs up.
I am linking this post to Foodie Friday hosted by Michael Lee at Rattlebridge Farm. To see other wonderful recipes shared just click HERE.
Hot or cold this Tomato Herb Soup is a keeper.