Tag Archives: Tomatoes

Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup

Valentine’s Day is in a couple of days.  Here in Michigan, the restaurants and bars reopened February 1st for indoor dining (at 25% capacity) and with a 10 p.m. curfew.  At least the people who want to eat out on Valentine’s Day will be able to.  I haven’t eaten in a restaurant since the pandemic started.  I do support our local restaurants but do it through home delivery or pickup.

This Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup is a simple and delicious soup that will warm you on our cold winter days.  It is very easy and quick to make.

The recipe uses roasted red peppers that you can buy in a jar.  The only prep of the peppers is draining and chopping them.  Use fire roasted tomatoes if you can, as they add a slight smoky flavor to the soup.  This soup goes great with a grilled cheese sandwich.  If there are any leftovers, the soup freezes really well.

Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup diced onions
2 (14.5 ounce) cans fire roasted tomatoes
1 (12 ounce) jar roasted red peppers, drained and chopped
1 tablespoon pesto (optional)
2 1/2 cups vegetable broth (or chicken broth)
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/2 teaspoon seasoned garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 cup half and half

For the Topping
thin slices of fresh mozzarella

Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large Dutch oven or soup pot.  Add the onion and sauté until onion is translucent, about 4-5 minutes.

Add the fire-roasted tomatoes, roasted red peppers, pesto, broth, salt, garlic powder, and basil.  Bring to a boil over medium high heat, then cover and reduce heat to a slow steady simmer.  Simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Turn off the heat and add the half and half.  Stir to combine.

Puree the soup using an immersion blender.  Season to taste with additional salt and pepper.

Serve in bowls topped with a slice of the fresh mozzarella.  (Note: If you don’t have an immersion blender, let the soup cool until warm and then transfer to a blender.  Blend until smooth and return to the pot.)  

The photo below is my yard after a recent snowfall.  It was definitely a good day for a hot bowl of soup.

Happy Valentine’s Day and stay safe.

 

 

Cream of Tomato Soup

There are still a lot of beautiful tomatoes available at the Farmers Market.  Fortunately, there are many wonderful ways to eat and cook with tomatoes.  One of my favorite ways is to make soup.  I always make several batches of cream of tomato soup during the season.  It just happens to be my favorite soup.

I don’t really care for Campbell’s Tomato Soup, although their Tomato Bisque is fairly good.  Panera Bread, a USA restaurant chain, has an excellent tomato soup; their Vegetarian Creamy Tomato Soup.  But the best is obviously homemade with fresh, ripe tomatoes.

The Campbell Soup Company came out with the condensed tomato soup in 1897.  Although the canned variety made the soup very popular, the first recipe is credited to Maria Parloa in her 1872 cookbook The Appledore Cook Book.

Miss Parloa was a culinary pioneer who authored seven cookbooks and established two cooking schools.  She was also the first to promote cooking brands, such as Baker’s Chocolate.  Miss Parloa also contributed to The Ladies Home Journal magazine and was also part owner.  For more information on this remarkable woman, see this article at the Bethel Public Library.  She left the town of Bethel, CT $2,000 which they used to establish the library.

The above referenced article calls her recipe Tomato Chowder.  However, in her cookbook, it is titled Tomato Soup.  A free digital copy of the cookbook is available from Archive.org.  There are several download options available.

This recipe calls for the tomatoes to be peeled.  I have a great vegetable peeler that actually peels tomatoes.  It is the Oxo Good Grips Serrated Peeler that I purchased from Amazon for $8.99.

You can see in my photo below that it does a good job.

This recipe is adapted from Betty Crocker.  See the original recipe for directions on peeling tomatoes using the boiling method.

Serve this delicious creamy soup with a grilled cheese sandwich and you will be in comfort food heaven.

Cream of Tomato Soup

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 1/2 pounds fresh tomatoes, peeled and chopped (about 4 cups chopped)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

croutons for serving (optional)

In a dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Cook onion in the oil for 3 to 5 minutes until translucent, stirring frequently.  Stir in the chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, salt, pepper,  basil, and chicken or vegetable broth.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 15-25  minutes or until tomatoes are softened and cooked down.  Remove from the heat and stir in the heavy cream and butter.

Carefully blend the soup with an immersion blender until desired smoothness.  I like mine slightly chunky.  If desired, serve soup with croutons.  

Note:
1.  A blender or food processor can also be used to blend the soup.
2.  I slice the very top of the tomato off in order to get rid of the stem part and then discard it.
3.  I like to use Amore Tomato Paste which comes in a 4 ounce stay-fresh tube and allows you to use the right amount for your recipes.  After opening, it stores in the fridge and has a long shelf life.

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