Originally printed in the pages of Simply Family Magazine’s October 2017 issue. Never miss an issue, check out SFM’s digital editions, here!
It’s the end of harvest time for garden produce! And with the extra-warm summer we’ve enjoyed here in Montana, this year’s tomato crop is abundant and affordable.
I’m a huge advocate for using seasonal produce to maximize freshness, and this month’s recipe for my creamy tomato soup is no exception. Select fully sun-ripened tomatoes that are slightly soft to the touch. A mix-and-match of varieties adds flavors, though I much prefer the locally grown heirloom tomatoes I find at Farmers Market.
While you’re shopping, be sure to buy some Montana grown yellow onion and basil (if you’re not lucky enough to have them growing in your garden). And of course, a loaf or two of freshly baked bread!
With the crisp change of season into autumn, the freshest garden vegetables at hand, and the unbeatable #1 favorite soup of American kids, you’ll find this nutritional and tasty soup the perfect choice for family dinner this month.
- • 2 tablespoons olive oil
- • 1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
- • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- • 3 pounds ripe tomatoes, peeled, then diced
- • 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
- • 1 cup half and half cream
- • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- • 8- 1” thick slices of French bread, buttered on both sides
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
- For the bread: Place buttered bread slices on a baking sheet and bake until lightly browned 10 minutes. Set aside
- 1. In a large soup pan over medium heat, add the oil, onion, and garlic and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes.
- 2. Add the tomatoes and stock. Raise the heat to high and bring to a gentle boil.
- 3. Reduce the heat to low, cover with a lid, and cook until the tomatoes are softened about 20 minutes.
- 4. Remove from the heat.
- 5. In a blender or food processor, puree the soup if you like it smooth. If you prefer a chunky soup, eliminate this step.
- 6. Pour the soup back into the pot, add the cream and basil, and cook over low heat stirring well until the soup is hot again. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- 7. Garnish with sprinkles of Parmesan cheese adding a basil leaf for garnish.
- To serve: Place a slice of your toasted bread into a soup bowl then gently ladle the soup on top.
- Alternative flavor option: Add a few drops of your favorite red-hot sauce or jalapeño pepper juice with the other ingredients during cooking for a spicy hot tomato soup!
about the author…Carole Davenport is a Montana travel writer-photographer and content specialist on her blog https://divineviewtraveler.wordpress.com. She is co-authoring a soon-to-be-released cookbook #bitterrootfresh with her two daughters, filled with their original recipes and photographs.