I am a tomato soup lover. Love a nice bowl of Campbell’s Cream of Tomato soup on a chilly day with a delicious Grilled Cheese sandwich. (or even on days not so chilly!) Memories of childhood days with my Dad – who also loved Campbell’s Cream of Tomato soup. His “little hint” was to add a teaspoon of sugar to the soup as it cooked, and he always used milk instead of water. Mmm… Mmm… Good! But, this recipe is for FRESH TOMATO soup. Not sure if my Dad would love it as much as I do. He was a “purist”. But this still made me say Mmm… Mmm… Good!
2 – 2 ½ lbs fresh Roma tomatoes, sliced into wedges. (I used 8 fairly good sized Roma’s)
½ lb. bacon, chopped into small pieces – or cooked and then crumbled
1 white onion, chopped
1 celery heart, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
Handful of fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 tablespoon tomato paste
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
Approximately 3 cups chicken or vegetable broth (I used chicken)
Parmesan Cheese or Sour Cream
Thinly sliced basil
In a soup pot, cook the bacon bits until browned. Remove from the pot and drain. Reserve 1 – 2 tablespoons of the bacon grease. (You could cook the bacon in their full slices and then crumble them after they’ve cooled. I opted to chop the bacon first and then cook the smaller pieces.)
Add the onions and garlic to the pan. Cook for 2 -3 minutes. Add the celery to the pan and continue cooking for about 5 more minutes.
Add the tomato wedges, basil and broth to the pan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 30 – 45 minutes.
Place half the mixture into a blender. Remove the center piece of the blender (to allow the steam to escape.) Place a clean towel over the opening to avoid spatters. Blend until smooth. Pour into bowl. Repeat with remaining tomato mixture.
Return the pureed soup to the pot and add the cooked bacon. Salt and pepper to taste.
Serve garnished with basil and sour cream or parmesan cheese.