Hey there! Welcome to Flawed yet Functional! Today I have a remake of a childhood favorite recipe to share with you. With my garden producing my best load of Roma tomatoes ever, I finally have a problem of not being able to eat all of my tomatoes when fresh. Canning aside, a great way to use a lot of tomatoes is to make tomato soup! Check out this easy recipe to make tomato soup from fresh tomatoes!
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In my pre-AIP days, tomato soup was a frequent choice for lunch, and I even grew up absolutely loving Campbell’s tomato soup. (Yes, I can’t believe it now, but it’s true! I absolutely loved the stuff!) The soup I’m going to share with you today is nowhere near that canned soup! There’s no dairy, and it’s definitely not smooth. The best part: it is loaded with flavor. Broiling the tomatoes, sauteing onions and garlic, and using homegrown basil makes for an awesome tomato soup experience. If you were a tomato soup lover as a child too, then you are in for a treat!
A quick note for those who do not like homemade tomato basil soup, well, you probably aren’t reading this recipe if you don’t like tomato soup. Ha! But seriously this is the best homemade tomato soup. It is! I have served this soup to several friends who do not like tomato soup, and after the first bite, they proclaimed it delicious! So if you are skeptical about tomato soup, give this one a try!
How to Easily Peel Tomatoes
Since we are starting with fresh tomatoes, we will need to peel them. The soup does get partially blended in a high-speed blender, but the tomato skins would still be noticeable as the soup is not totally smooth. Should you choose to completely puree your soup, you probably could cook it with the skins on.
A few minutes under the broiler will blacken the skin and allow it to peel away from the flesh easily. To do this, wash your tomatoes, then cut them in half lengthwise and remove the stem. Place them on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper, cut side down.
Place the tomatoes under the broiler (about four or five inches away from the heating element). Let the tomatoes broil, checking every 2 to 3 minutes and rotating. Your oven may cook more evenly than mine, making rotating unnecessary. However, I have hotspots in mine, so I made sure to rotate the pan every 2 to 3 minutes to ensure even blackening.
When the tomatoes are blackened, remove them from the oven and set aside. Work on the rest of the soup to allow the tomatoes to cool a bit before peeling them.
The Secret to Delicious Soup
If I can relay one tip to you from this recipe, it is not to rush. Time is the secret to a delicious soup. This soup is not overly long to make, but don’t skip the step of letting the onions soften and begin to brown. Also, don’t skip allowing the garlic and spices to bloom in the onions. These are steps that only add a few minutes to the total time, but they make a huge difference in the flavor of the final soup.
The soup will not need to simmer for hours on the stove as chili or stew would, but make sure to give each step ample time to develop flavors.
No recipe is complete without a list of things that could be done differently. I know many people search for a specific recipe to make with what they have on hand, and I am a big believer in making things work with what you have. So don’t be afraid, experiment with the ingredients even if I haven’t listed what you have as a variation.
Canned Tomatoes vs. Fresh
I know, I know, this recipe is written as tomato soup from fresh tomatoes. But sometimes you just don’t have fresh tomatoes. Can you still make this recipe? Of course! If you don’t have a garden or farmers market nearby, feel free to substitute canned whole plum tomatoes. Simply use the same number of pounds that are listed in the recipe just from canned instead of fresh tomatoes.
This recipe has a lot of leeway for the amounts of each ingredient. If you have a little more or a little less, no worries. Use it anyway! It will likely turn out just fine even if you are a little over the poundage of tomatoes or under.
Dried Basil vs. Fresh
In this recipe, I used dried basil that was originally harvested from my garden then dried in the oven. I like how dried basil holds up to simmering in a soup better than fresh. If you choose to use fresh basil, add it after the soup has been pureed and allowed to cook for 10 more minutes or so.
Just a note for saving money: fresh basil is very expensive from the grocery store. You get much more bang for your buck by purchasing a jar of dried basil from the baking aisle. So I would go the dried route every time for this recipe.
Chicken Stock vs. Broth vs. Bone Broth
In this recipe, I used chicken stock to make the soup. Whenever I make a whole chicken or a bunch of chicken thighs, I keep the bones to make chicken bone broth. I have used bone broth, chicken stock, or even chicken broth for this recipe in the past. All work just fine, just be cautious about your salt additions if your stock has salt in it.
Chicken stock and bone broth are made from the bones of the chicken which results in a richer flavor. Chicken broth is made from the meatier parts and has a lighter taste (source). Bone broth will result in the richest flavor of soup of the three options. So in summary: use whichever type of chicken liquid you have! It will turn out just fine although may result in a richer or less rich soup depending on your choice. You should always check for flavor at the end of the cooking process in any recipe, but especially if you are using a sodium-free store-bought broth.
Fresh Onion and Garlic vs. Dried
Now in my heart, I am a make-do-with-what-you-have kind of gal, but this is where I put my foot down. You must use fresh onion and fresh garlic. The soup will not have the same body or flavor if you choose to use dried spices instead of fresh onion and garlic.
If you really don’t like to peel fresh garlic, then buy the pre-chopped garlic in a can. Don’t buy pre-peeled garlic. It’s been peeled by prisoners in China and they often use their teeth. Gross!
Peeling and chopping an onion quickly is a learned skill. It does not need to take a long time. I promise! If you find chopping an onion laborious, then check out this tutorial and begin practicing chopping an onion in an efficient manner. Making cooking enjoyable takes effort, and learning to chop things the right way will save time and energy.
Serving Suggestions for Homemade Tomato Soup from Fresh Tomatoes
Obviously, this soup is meatless. I find having a no-protein meal leaves me with a lack of energy and sometimes dropping blood sugar before the next meal. So I recommended serving the soup with a protein of some sort. For dinner, I serve it as a side to brats or hamburgers or even a loaded salad that has some sliced chicken or ham on top. Most often, we have homemade tomato basil soup for lunch. In which case, I keep things very simple. Serve it up in big bowls with almond flour crackers and a large dairy-free charcuterie tray in the middle of the table. Everyone can pick their own meat, fruit, and veggies to supplement the soup.
Homemade tomato soup from fresh tomatoes is a delicious way to use up all your garden tomatoes. It’s an easy tomato soup recipe that can come together at lunchtime on a weekend or a weeknight for dinner. It reheats beautifully too so feel free to make a large batch on Sunday to eat for lunches for the rest of the week. Do you need to use up all your fresh tomatoes soon? Make this soup tonight!
Need More Soup Inspiration?
Try these delicious Paleo (and some AIP-friendly!) soup from Flawed yet Functional!
Homemade Tomato Soup From Fresh Tomatoes
Do you need a fresh, healthy remake of the childhood favorite, Campbell's Tomato Soup? Check out this easy, delicious homemade tomato soup from fresh tomatoes! It's Paleo and completely dairy-free!
- 3.5-4.5 pounds fresh Roma tomatoes
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 large onion chopped
- 5 cloves garlic minced
- 1.5 Tbsp. dried basil
- 2 tsp. sea salt
- 1/2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
- 2 cups chicken broth/stock/bone broth
Place the baking sheet under the broiler. Broil in 2-3 minute intervals rotating in between until tomatoes are blackened and skins are shriveling. Remove from oven then set aside to cool.
While the tomatoes are broiling, chop the onion and garlic.
Warm a 6 quart cast iron dutch oven over medium heat. Add the olive oil then saute the onion in the oil until the onion is softened and browning on the edges.
While the onion is cooking, remove the skins from the tomatoes and discard.
Bloom the garlic and dried spices: stir in the garlic, basil, salt, and pepper into the onions, allowing to cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant.
Add the tomatoes and any juices in the baking sheet to the dutch oven along with the chicken broth. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Allow the soup to simmer for 10 minutes while roughly chopping up the tomatoes with a spoon.
Remove half or more of the soup and puree until smooth in a high-speed blender. Return the puree to the dutch oven and warm it up. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt and pepper as needed. (I usually add 1-2 more teaspoons of salt and 1/2 tsp. of pepper, but this will vary depending on how much salt your stock/broth has.)
Serve with almond flour crackers and enjoy!