Both of my cultures, I am half Sicilian and half Mississippian, adore the tomato.  Sicilians rely on the volcanic ash in the soil to grow tomatoes that are rich in flavor.  They also rely on the sun to dry the tomatoes and further concentrate the flavor.  My father remembers going to his family’s farm in Melilli and watching as his grandmother lay fresh tomatoes and quince out in the sun to dry.  The concept of sun drying tomatoes in Mississippi would only lead to a moldy mess due to the humidity, which does not avail itself to sun drying anything other than maybe some herbs.  

My mother, like most Mississippians, is content with a slice of garden grown tomato slathered in mayonnaise sandwiched in between two slices of untoasted white bread.  I can’t think of many things less appetizing, but she loves this simple tomato sandwich.  Sadly, I am not a fan of the raw tomato.  

I can recount on one hand how many times I have genuinely enjoyed eating a raw tomato.  One time was at FIG in Charleston where a thick slab of heirloom tomato was topped with fresh peas and beans in a buttermilk dressing.  Another time was in Catania, Sicily as we walked through a street market and I was given a small, fresh tomato to try.  I am not averse to trying foods that I don’t like, since taste buds evolve and foods taste different in different parts of the country, much less different parts of the world.  This tomato was unlike any tomato I had eaten before and convinced me that I should continue to give fresh tomatoes a chance to enamor me.  

While I might not love the flavor of a fresh tomato, I do love all things tomato flavored.  Marinara, sun dried tomatoes pesto, salsa, and tomato soup are some of my favorite flavors.  Who doesn’t love dunking grilled cheese into tomato soup?   I usually make tomato soup with roasted roma tomatoes or beefsteak tomatoes.  Roasting the tomatoes concentrates the flavor and eliminates some of the acidity that I find unpleasant in tomatoes.  This year, I purchased one too many an heirloom tomato from Two Dog Farms and was left pondering what to make with 6 pounds of heirloom tomatoes.  Tomato soup was my first thought which I quickly dismissed due to the pricier heirloom tomatoes, which I usually reserve for recipes requiring fresh tomatoes instead of roasted tomatoes.  This recipe made me fall in love with heirloom tomatoes, which are often less acidic than their more traditional counterparts.  The soup is more subtle in flavor than your traditional tomato soup and leaves you questioning the true ingredients.  It is beautiful accompanied by a grilled cheese sandwich and glass of chardonnay. 

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Heirloom Tomato Soup


  • Author: Christina
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 16 cups 1x

Description

This recipe made me fall in love with heirloom tomatoes, which are often less acidic than their more traditional counterparts.  The soup is more subtle in flavor than your traditional tomato soup and leaves you questioning the true ingredients.  It is beautiful accompanied by a grilled cheese sandwich and glass of chardonnay. 


Ingredients

Units Scale

Roasted Vegetables

  • 3 pounds Heirloom tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1 medium onion roughly diced (about 1 cup)
  • 2 carrots, peeled
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Soup

  • 2 Tbs butter
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 cup onion, diced (about one medium onion)2 cups leeks, chopped (about one leek)
  • 1/2 cup celery, chopped
  • 3/4 cup cognac
  • 2 Tbs fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 cups vegetable stock (32 ounces)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 Tbs chives
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Roast the vegetables: Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  Place tomatoes cut side down on a baking dish.  Put roughly chopped onion, whole carrots, and garlic in the dish. Season with salt and pepper.  Roast for 45 minutes.

  2. Make the soup: In a large stock pot or dutch oven, heat the butter and olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onion and cover.  Cook for about 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Uncover and add the leeks.  Cook for 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  3. Add the celery and carrots.  Cook for about 5 minutes.  Add the brandy and sherry.  Simmer for about 10 minutes to reduce the alcohol.

  4. Add the roasted vegetables and stock.  Simmer for 30-40 minutes.

  5. Add the heavy cream and cook for another 10 minutes.  Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper.  Stir in the chives.

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 40 minutes

Keywords: tomato, soup, vegetarian

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