I have an abundance of tomatoes that I couldn’t have even dreamed of when we lived in San Francisco. There, the extent of my tomato farming consisted of a couple of pots (too small) on my back deck (too foggy and not sunny enough) that yielded oh, I think two whole tomatoes the entire summer. This year I planted four types: three heirlooms and a plum, in a small, baking hot space with fresh compost, and they are giving me almost 5lbs a week!
In the face of such a glut of tomatoes I have been experimenting in the kitchen and this amazing, velvety, tomato soup, which I swear takes no more than about 15 minutes prep time to make, is my favorite so far.
– Approx. 2lbs of ripe, fresh tomatoes (I used heirlooms), cored, and diced – you can leave the skins on and keep the seeds
– Dash of olive oil
– 1/2 a yellow onion, diced
– 1 tsp of dried oregano
– 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar
– a pinch of sugar
– Half a ripe avocado, peeled and sliced (this is the secret ingredient)
– About a 1/2 cup of vegetable broth (you can use chicken if you’re not vegan)
– Salt (I prefer kosher) and pepper
– Teaspoon of pesto (optional)
- In a medium-sized pan that’s already been heated over a medium flame, add about 1-2 tbsps of olive oil.
- Add the onions and a liberal sprinkling of salt (this helps draw out water from the onions so they stay translucent as they soften and don’t burn).
- After about five minutes, add the tomatoes, vinegar, oregano and sugar. Stir and allow to come to a slow simmer and then turn down to a low heat, maintaining the simmer.
- Next add the broth – it may not seem like much but these tomatoes are practically made of water, so have no fear.
- Allow everything to simmer for about 10 minutes. You want to let the juices escape, mingle and mellow. Then turn off the heat and allow to sit for about 30 minutes. Taste and add salt. Tomatoes need a lot of salt, and especially if you are using kosher salt, don’t hold back, but do keep tasting as you add.
- Transfer to your blender (ideally a Vitamix or you may have to push the finished soup through a strainer to remove bits of skin and seed) and add the avocado. Blend until creamy and smooth. Taste again. Take a moment to marvel at the magic of avocado. Not only does it add a creaminess, but thanks to its healthy fat content, it also adds a body and thickening to the soup.
- You can serve this soup hot, warm or chilled. I’ve tried it all ways and it’s always delish. Garnish with some chopped basil, freshly ground pepper, and if you like, you can thin the pesto with a little olive oil and swirl it through.
- Oh, and my favorite way to serve soup these days is in tea cups as an appetizer. I’ll offer it to guests as I’m still prepping the last elements of our meal, it keeps the edge off their hunger and buys me some time! No spoon required.