By Sylvie Rowand / Photography by Molly McDonald Peterson
This soup is one reason why I can tomatoes in the summer. It’s simple and delicious – absolutely wonderful with a grilled cheese sandwich or a few biscuits hot from the oven. Do not make this soup with winter tomatoes available in
supermarkets—they just do not have the necessary flavor: you will be thoroughly disappointed. Rather, resolve to can a few jars of tomatoes next summer (check out the canning workshop schedule on my website).
SERVES 4 TO 6 AS A LIGHT MAIN COURSE
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 large yellow onions
¼ teaspoon whole fennel seeds
¼ teaspoon whole celery seeds
1 quar t canned tomato puree or whole canned plum tomatoes
2 high-qualit y chicken broth, preferably homemade
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary leaves to garnish
Salt to taste
Milk or half & half if desired
Peel and slice the onions. Heat oil in a large Dutch-oven pan over medium heat. Add onions, and sautée until soft, about 20 minutes, stirring to prevent scorching. Add a little more oil if necessary or adjust stove temperature. Onions should be translucent and not brown.
Increase the heat. Add spices and stir until fragrant—about 1 minute. Add tomatoes. Bring to boil, then lower heat and simmer, covered for 10 minutes.
Puree soup in blender until smooth in small batches. Do not overload the blender; you’ll cover yourself with the hot liquid. Strain through a fine mesh sieve to remove the seeds, pressing on the solids as much as you can (don’t skip this step—the soup will be so much silkier!)
Put puréed soup back into pot. Add broth (and/or milk or half and half if using) until desired consistency is reached. Salt to taste. Heat until hot. Garnish individual bowls with minced rosemary.
Sylvie Rowand of Washington, Va., grows, forages, and preserves food; cooks for others and teaches the pleasures of growing your own food and eating seasonally through workshops and her blog, www.laughingduckgardens.com.