As I was cleaning and organizing the kitchen one evening last week, the day before we were leaving for a four-day mini-break, I eyed the three New Jersey tomatoes sitting on the counter. They had been there for several days slowly ripening, and now they were perfect. Time was short and I still had many tasks to complete, but I couldn’t just leave them there—or, heaven forbid, stash them in the refrigerator.
So, I rallied and quickly put together a tomato soup that, even if I had had more time, I would have been happy to prepare and proud to serve. This is another family friendly recipe, as babies, kids, and adults will find it yummy. (Do make sure, of course, that your baby can tolerate onions and tomatoes.) Keep it simple and season the soup with just a bit of dried herbs (I used herbs de Provence, a mixture of dried thyme, basil, savory, fennel, and lavender) along with salt and pepper. Or, if you want more flavor and freshness, stir in some chopped fresh basil, oregano, and/or thyme after you’ve pureed the cooked soup.
Serve this soup warm, room temperature, or chilled. It is lovely just as it is, but it is also delicious garnished with fresh herbs and/or spoonfuls of fresh ricotta cheese. It freezes nicely, too.
Fresh Summer Tomato Soup
Heat about 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Peel and slice 1 medium onion and add to the oil. Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and light golden in color, about 7 minutes. Stir in 3 chopped medium tomatoes, add about 1/4 teaspoon herbes de Provence (or a mixture of dried or chopped fresh basil, oregano, thyme, etc., as desired), and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes have released their juices and are soft, about another 7 minutes. Remove from the heat and puree in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment until smooth. Stir in some chopped fresh herbs if you wish. Serve garnished with fresh herbs and/or spoonfuls of fresh ricotta cheese, if desired.
Makes about 1 1/2 cups