Preserves in Action: Homemade Tomato Soup

finished tomato soup

We are in the throes of another winter storm here in the Philadelphia area. Schools are closed, roads are impassable, and the sidewalks are treacherous. I don’t find the weather too much of an inconvenience, as I always work from my dining room table or my desk behind the television and thanks to my canning habit, I can go for days without needing to grocery shop.

roasted tomatoes packed in oil

But the conditions have been bad enough that Scott’s office has been closed at least three times since the beginning of January. He was home again today and around noon, managed to look both plaintive and hopeful as he said, “Do we have anything good for lunch?”

There’s been a bit of chatter on the Food in Jars Google Community page about tomato soup and so I suggested the classic pairing of toasted cheese sandwiches and bowls of warm soup.

pouring tomato puree

This qualified as good in his book and so I got out a small soup pot, pulled down a jar of tomato puree, and got to cooking. I started by browning 1/2 a minced onion in 1 tablespoon of butter. While the onions sizzled, I chopped up a few of my precious slow roasted tomatoes and added them to the pot.

I’ve taken to keeping a jar of these tomatoes in the fridge, packed in olive oil (a good layer of oil keeps them from getting moldy). It makes them more readily available for use than if they’re all frozen and so I use them more often in my daily cooking. They do add such a fabulous punch of concentrated tomato flavor.

February 13

Then I added 1 quart of the tomato puree (simply tomatoes run through a press and simmered until slightly thickened prior to canning), 1 cup of half and half (milk would have been fine too, but since I had the good stuff, I went with it), 2 tablespoons of honey, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt.

I simmered the mixture of a few more minutes and then used to an immersion blender to smooth out the lumps and bits of onion. It was perfect for the chilly day and we both had two bowls.

For those of you also living through this latest round of weather, I do hope you’re staying warm and well-fed!

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17 Responses to Preserves in Action: Homemade Tomato Soup

  1. 1
    Megan Strong says:

    Oh my, did my queries inspire this post? I’m blown away….

  2. 2
    Shirl says:

    love soups and stews Best of all I have plenty of tomatoes, Will be making tomato soup this weekend

  3. 3
    Sarah says:

    Ahhh, yes! We have been known to add a bit of dill and a drizzle of creme fraiche (yeah right, I just keep that on hand – jk).

  4. 4
  5. 5
    Mel says:

    How long will the oven roasted tomatoes with olive oil keep in the fridge? Ray roasts a batch every summer, but we use the freezing technique to keep the bounty stretching until the next season.

    Can’t wait to try this recipe!

    • 5.1
      Marisa says:

      I find that as long as they are completely covered in oil, they’ll keep for 3-4 months. What I typically do is stash a big batch in the freezer when I roast them all off, and then defrost smaller batches, and pack those smaller batches in oil for the fridge (draining them before putting them in the jar as they weep a goodly amount of liquid). It’s a really nice way to have them available all the time.

  6. 6

    Perfect for a snow-bound lunch! Especially lovely with a handful of pastina thrown in…

  7. 7
    mb says:

    It sounds odd, but the tiniest pinch of ground cloves totally sets of homemade tomato soup. This looks lovely and might be just the ticket this weekend!

  8. 8
    Michelle says:

    Sorry I’m leaving this as a comment, but I couldn’t locate your email address on the site. I’m a regular reader and appreciator of Food in Jars, and I am frustrated that your sponsors are currently including a R-rated movie previews. I don’t want to watch people having sex while I’m visiting your site. That’s not your subject matter and seems inappropriate for your intended audience. I’d really appreciate it if you’d consider adjusting your sponsor’s content.

  9. 9
    Barbara says:

    Can I use my dehydrator instead of the oven to dry tomatoes that would be suitable for your bruschetta, as described in your column on roasting tomatoes? I regularly dry tomato sauces, spaghetti sauce, tomato puree, etc. and can safely store it in a vacuumed jar without refrigeration. I have even dried them far enough to grind them into powder for instant tomato paste. That aside, the soup sounds wonderful! I love tomato soup, especially if I’m feeling a bit under the weather, and I always add a thick pat of butter to my bowl after it is hot. We don’t have snow here in Florida, but it is still quite cold and I’d love a bowl!

    • 9.1
      Marisa says:

      These tomatoes are very different from those that have been dehydrated. They are juicy and have a concentrated tomato flavor. You could dehydrate tomatoes, but you wouldn’t get the same product.

      • Barbara says:

        Thanks for letting me know about the difference between roasted and dehydrated tomatoes. I’d love to try roasting them. That sounds like a wonderful lunch that would be easy once the tomatoes are done!

        Believe it or not, Florida is in the height of strawberry season! (The big strawberry festival is at the end of this month in Plant City) I bought two packages, had fresh ones with whipped cream and made strawberry ice cream, and sliced the other package with my egg slicer and dehydrated them. Now there’s a buy one, get one free coupon at one local store, Wal-Mart matches them, and I’m going to make strawberry preserves, more fresh strawberry ice cream and dehydrate a whole lot more as I prepare for hurricane season. I hope to attend the festival, and buy a bushel of tomatoes, too, at their produce sales area, as that’s where most of our fresh produce comes from in Florida.

  10. 10
    Eileen says:

    Hooray for soup! I usually end up using my tomato sauce in pastas, but now I am definitely having visions of dipping grilled cheese sandwiches. :)

  11. 11
    Marcia says:

    Marisa, thanks for the tip about the olive oil! Do you think that would work for other tomato products such as canned pizza sauce?

  12. 12
    sillygirl says:

    I started adding a little blue cheese and fresh shredded basil to my homemade tomato soup – a nice change from the plain though I love that too.

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