Summer Tomato Soup

Summer Tomato Soup with grilled cheese sandwiches.

Summer Tomato Soup with grilled cheese sandwiches.

Happy 4th of July!

I decided to make this recipe for several reasons:

1) I had a bunch of cherry tomatoes and one large beefsteak from my parent’s garden that was sitting on my counter.

2) I made a loaf of bread yesterday and thought grilled cheese and tomato soup sounded awesome.

3) I got to try cooking with shallots – a first for me.

4) It felt like a soup kind of day with all the rain we’ve been getting.

5) My hubby really liked the idea.

Besides, what’s not to like about a recipe with minimal ingredients and that takes such a long time to cook at low heat that the scent permeates the apartment without making our air conditioner work any harder than it already is? And that has such a great flavor? In fact, hubby liked it so much it’s offered yet another reason for us to consider getting a small freezer. Then I could make several batches from tomatoes from the garden or Farmer’s Market and have this simple soup all winter. Definitely something for us to consider.

And speaking of considering, please keep in mind shallots, like onions, will make you cry. After a few minutes of burning eyes I resorted to a candle and pink swimming goggles. Classy, I know, but it worked and made my hubby laugh so hard he grabbed the camera for future blackmail opportunities and his phone to text the picture to my mom. Yet another reason he keeps me around…

This recipe, like the sandwich recipe from yesterday, is from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison. It’s more or less the same except for a few tweaks on my part, and as usual I’ve included notes and pictures below.

Summer Tomato Soup

stovetop: low heat     time: 3 – 4 hours     makes: 4 – 6 servings worth


  • 3 Tbs. butter
  • 1 c. diced shallots
  • 5 lbs. ripe, red, juicy tomatoes, rinsed and cut into big pieces [I used cherry tomatoes and a beefsteak (1 lb.) then 4 beefsteaks (2lbs. worth) and a bunch of roma (the other 2 lbs.)]
  • salt (at least 1 tsp.) and freshly milled pepper
  • 1/2 c. water


  1. Melt the butter in a wide soup pot over low heat. Add the shallots while you prepare the tomatoes.
  2. Add the tomatoes to the pot along with 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 c. water.
  3. Cover and cook for 3 to 4 hours. Give the pot a stir every now and then. If the tomatoes are juicy, this shouldn’t be much of a problem.
  4. Use a food mill or, if you are like me and do not know what this is let alone own one, pour the soup into a blender and push chop on and off a few times (do not fill the blender more than 2/3s full).
  5. Then hold the sieve over a bowl and pour the mixture onto it. Some of the liquid will go through right away. To get the rest use a smaller bowl or your hand to press down on the mixture. Toss aside the solids and repeat until all the soup is sorted into solids and liquid (this is easier if you have a helper to deal with the sieve while you work with the blender or vice versa). You can toss the solid mixture or use it for whatever you like (it still has some flavoring if you don’t mind the tomato seeds and skins).
  6. Taste for salt and season with freshly milled pepper.
  7. Pour into a bowl and enjoy!
Dicing the shallots (sorry, no picture of me in the goggles).

Dicing the shallots (sorry, not including a picture of me in the goggles).

The tomatoes before I started cutting them into large pieces.

The inspiration for the recipe before I cut them into large pieces.

Beginning the 3 to 4 hour countdown...

Beginning the 3 to 4 hour countdown...

...that ended in this!

...that ended in this!

Straining the liquid. The leftover mixture is on the plate off to the side.

Straining the liquid. The leftover mixture is on the plate off to the side.

All done!

And finally, the result!

Note: The recipe mentions (among other suggestions) that you can add a few tablespoons to a cup of cream for cream of tomato soup. While that is an option, it has a lot of flavor on its own and (as shown in the first picture) goes great with grilled cheese sandwiches. We tried it using muenster cheese and the bread I baked (and posted about) yesterday.

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