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Cooking

Recipes for fresh tomato soups

Mmmmm good.

Photographs by Jim Scherer / Styling by Catrine Kelty

So, gazpacho season’s over. Try a steamy bowl of fresh tomato soup instead.

TIP Farro adds texture, substance, and a nutty flavor to vegetable soups.

FRESH TOMATO AND VEGETABLE SOUP WITH FARRO

Makes about 2 quarts

Salt and pepper

¾ cup farro

1½ tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

3 large carrots, chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced

1½ teaspoons minced fresh thyme

5 medium tomatoes (about 2½ pounds),

4 halved and coarsely grated to pulp, skins discarded; 1 chopped

1 medium zucchini, diced

1/3 cup chopped fresh basil

5 large scallions, white and light green parts, thinly sliced 

To a medium-large pot of boiling water, add 1 tablespoon salt and the farro, return to the boil, adjust heat to medium, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the grains are just tender, about 30 minutes. Drain, reserving the cooking liquid, and set aside.

Continue reading below

In a large saucepan over medium heat, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the onion, carrots, and 2 teaspoons salt and saute until soft, about 5 minutes; scoop out about 2/3 cup of the onion-carrot mixture and reserve. Add the garlic and thyme to the pan, and saute 40 seconds. Add the tomato pulp and 2 cups of the farro cooking liquid, increase heat to high, bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to low, partially cover, and simmer 20 minutes.

In a blender, puree the mixture. Return to the pot, add the chopped tomato, zucchini, reserved onion-carrot mixture, and farro, and heat over medium-low, stirring occasionally, until the zucchini is tender, about 6 minutes. Taste the soup, add pepper, salt, and farro cooking water, if necessary. Stir in the basil and most of the scallions and serve, sprinkling with some of the remaining scallions.

 

FRESH TOMATO AND CHEESE SOUP

Makes about 2 quarts

This recipe was inspired by Souped Up! by Sally Sampson.

1 tablespoon butter

1 large onion, chopped

Salt and pepper

2 garlic cloves, chopped

4 cups low-sodium chicken broth

4 medium tomatoes (about 2 pounds), halved and coarsely grated to pulp, skins discarded

¾ cup finely grated sharp cheddar

1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan

½ cup chopped fresh basil

1½ teaspoons balsamic or sherry vinegar

½ cup heavy cream or half-and-half, optional

In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and 1 teaspoon salt, and saute until soft, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic and saute 40 seconds. Add the broth and tomato pulp, increase heat to high, bring to a strong simmer, reduce the heat to low, partially cover, and simmer 20 minutes.

In a blender, puree the mixture, then gradually add the cheddar, Parmesan, and most of the basil, continuing to puree until smooth. Return to the pan, add the vinegar and cream or half-and-half, if using, and heat over medium-low for about 5 minutes. Taste the soup, add pepper and salt, if necessary, and serve, sprinkling with some of the remaining basil.

 

FRESH TOMATO SOUP WITH MOROCCAN SPICES

Makes about 2 quarts

1½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

Salt and black pepper

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 teaspoons paprika

1½ teaspoons ground cumin

¼ teaspoon ground ginger

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon honey

6 medium tomatoes (about 3 pounds), halved and coarsely grated, skins discarded

1½ tablespoons vinegar

¼ cup, packed, cilantro leaves, plus extra chopped cilantro for garnish

¼ cup, packed, parsley leaves, plus extra chopped parsley for garnish

Greek-style yogurt, for serving 

In a large saucepan over medium heat, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the onion and ¼ teaspoon salt, and saute until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic, paprika, cumin, ginger, cinnamon, and cayenne, and saute 1½ minutes. Add 1 cup water and the honey, increase heat to high, and use a wooden spoon to scrape bottom of pan to loosen and dissolve the fond, about 1 minute; set aside to cool briefly.

In a blender, puree the onion-spice mixture with 4 cups of the tomato pulp, vinegar, cilantro and parsley leaves, and 2 teaspoons salt until smooth. Return mixture to the pan, add the remaining tomato pulp, and heat over medium-low, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Taste the soup, add black pepper and salt, if necessary, and serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled, adding a dollop of yogurt and a little chopped cilantro and parsley to each serving.

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