Don’t be afraid of the tomatoes in the picture! With this recipe you can turn them into something wonderful.
One of my daughters is a very picky eater. It has taken years to develop her palate beyond scrambled eggs and noodles with butter. I have found that if I can feed her something once, the next time will be a breeze and by the third time, she’ll request it! Several weeks ago, out of the blue, she asked me for my tomato basil soup.
So I went to my favorite tomato guy at the farmer’s market and asked him for his uglies. And ugly tomatoes are just that. They are over-ripe or spotty, or have a crack. They are just plain ugly. But more than that, they are cheap and so I can afford enough to make a giant pot of soup! For dinner I usually serve this with a home made Caesar salad and for lunch I serve it with some tasty very sharp cheddar grilled cheese sandwiches (gluten-free of course!).
Makes about a gallon
Fresh Ugly Tomatoes or pretty ones if you have them, about 10-14, chop them
1/2 large sweet onion, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
About 4 cups of tomato juice, this helps stretch it out and make it smooth
3 T olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 c. half and half (optional)
About 10 fresh basil leaves (more or less to your taste)
Method of preparation:
In a large stock pot, heat the olive oil, saute the onions and celery on medium heat until they begin to caramelize. Throw in the garlic, stir briefly making sure not to brown the garlic. Throw in the tomatoes and tomato juice. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let the soup simmer for about 45-50 minutes. Add the heavy cream if you wich, chop and add the basil. Salt and pepper to taste. At this point if you have an immersion blender:
run it though your soup. I like this method because you can leave the soup a little bit chunky. If you don’t have one of these, use your blender (be careful with hot soup in a blender!!!). You can make this soup as chunky or smooth as you like. And then you are done. Serve the soup, put away the leftovers for lunch tomorrow, wash the dishes, and go to bed:)