It is time to harvest tomatoes here in central Pennsylvania right now! Large selection of heirloom tomatoes is available at local farm stands and stores. It is absolutely one of my favorite times of the year! Seeing corn grow tall means fall is almost here!
We live in the heart of Lancaster (Amish) county and our neighborhood is surrounded by the farms and fields.
Farmers grow cantaloupes, melons, veggies, pumpkins and more. So if you love to cook you know that local grown fresh produce is the best!
I like using couple of different varieties of tomatoes for my hearty tomato soup. Because mixing varieties enhances the flavor of the soup quite a bit! We love soup and in the late summer-early fall is when I start making them often!
How this recipe happened.
I came up with this hearty tomato soup recipe last year when I chopped and baked leftover tomatoes, carrots and onions, then pureed them and made soup! Took some time to figure out right proportions of the ingredients but the final recipe is delicious and my family loves it!
It pairs wonderfully with a nice grilled cheese sandwich and makes a great lunch or dinner! This soup is hearty and naturally sweet without any additional sweeteners! Adding onion and carrots add texture and thickness.
Perfect grilled sandwich my version
There are so many recipes for a grilled cheese sandwich! I was experimenting with different types of cheese and bread combos and today will share my favorite.
Fresh french bread or San Francisco Sourdough bread from Whole Foods Market is what I like. It is filling and keeps shape well when its grilled. Organic hickory smoked cheddar cheese flavor pairs well with the sourdough bread.
Making grilled cheese sandwich
First prepare the frying pan, no need to grease it. Spread some mayo on outer sides of both bread slices. Place slice of cheese between the bread slices making sure mayo sides are on the outside!
Using non stick uncreased skillet grill sandwiches few minutes on each side to desired finish! So easy!
Hearty tomato soup recipe from scratch
Now let’s make this delicious hearty tomato soup! It keeps well in a fridge and if you make a large batch you can freeze half and then reheat it using a crock pot! That is exactly what we do!
Hearty tomato soup from scratchCourse: SoupsCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Medium
Start by preheating the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
I use large glass casserole pan to bake the veggies for my tomato soup. I suggest to use variety of tomatoes because it enhances the flavor of the soup. I used bunch of plum tomatoes, one large round one and some cherry tomatoes. Softer tomatoes do better than very firm ones. If you are buying them fresh at the grocery store use tomatoes on the vine and cherry tomatoes.
6 cups of tomatoes sliced or cut into chunks. I would cut larger ones into chunks and pierce cherry tomatoes with the knife to avoid splatter and popping when they bake.
2 cups of chopped onion. I used 1 large Vidalia onion. When cut it makes 2 cups of loosely packed chunks.
2 cups of carrots sliced or chopped. Thinner slices blend better.
1 teaspoon of ground black pepper.
1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt.
3 tablespoons of vegetable oil. I use olive oil that’s intended for sautéing.
- INGREDIENTS TO ADD TO PUREED BAKED VEGGIES
2 cups of milk, I use 2% fat content.
1 cup of shredded yellow cheddar cheese.
Favorite fresh or dry herbs and shredded cheddar to garnish. I use sage and thyme from my garden.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Prepare large baking dish and add veggies in even layer.
- Sprinkle ground black pepper and salt over veggies.
- Drizzle olive oil over veggies then stir ingredients to coat evenly.
- Bake on the middle rack uncovered for 40-50 minutes or until well done, stirring once after 30 minutes.
- Once veggies are done place them into the metal mixing bowl and puree using handheld blender. Do not drain veggies, juices that have accumulated when baking will make a great stock for this hearty tomato soup.
- Transfer blended soup into a large pot and bring to boil. You will end up with about 4 cups or so .
- Add 2 cups of milk to the soup, stir with a whisk.
- Add 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese and keep stirring with a whisk. Skip the cheese if you are freezing your soup. In that case add shredded cheese only to the part that will not be frozen.
- Turn off the heat once you see bubbles form. Do not overcook. Makes about 7-8 cups.
- Serve with shredded cheddar cheese, herbs and a grilled cheese sandwich! Refrigerate leftovers.
See photos of the recipe steps in order in this picture carousel