Food Friday: Homemade Cream of Tomato Soup

I have an embarrassment of tomatoes to work through right now. Our garden is plentiful, plus we have some from the farm where we get our vegetables weekly. Then this past week I helped harvest at a farm specializing in heirloom tomatoes, and I came home with with pounds and pounds and pounds of gorgeous yellow, green, purple, pink, orange and red tomatoes. MMMM. 

We’ve been eating tomato sandwiches and BLTs all week (which I LOVE), we’ve had tomato-mozzarella salad, we’ve had Jess’ Mom’s Summer Pasta, which I’ll share here soon and I’ve made a few batches of this golden brew. I think the original source of this was the New York Times in the 1970s, but it was part of my mom’s repertoire for so long that I think of it as her recipe.

I’ll give it to you in it’s original, unblemished state, but you’ll probably live longer if you adopt some of the modifications I use. I make this so many times in the tomato season that I can’t make it in the high-fat style or I would be as round as some of my tomatoes. The recipe itself is truly for the lazy, since it requires no seeding, coring and peeling of tomatoes and just the barest bit of chopping.

The heady scent of this soup—the pure, distilled essence of tomato and basil, plus all the good things that make those flavors even better—is as close as we’ll ever get to bottling summer. Try it and see if you agree!

Cream of Tomato Soup

1 stick butter ( I use about 2 tablespoons)

2 Tablespoons olive oil ( I use 1)

1 large sweet onion, chopped in large chunks

a handful of fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped

1 teaspoon fresh thyme, diced

2-3 pounds fresh tomatoes, roughly chopped

3 Tablespoons tomato paste (go ahead and use the whole can)

1/4 cup unbleached flour

4 cups chicken broth

1 teaspoon sugar

1 cup heavy cream ( I use 2% milk, and I think it is fine, but see what works for you–half cream, half milk? Whole milk?)

salt and pepper to taste

Heat butter in a large pot. Add oil, onion, basil and thyme. Cook, stirring occasionally until the onion wilts. Add tomato paste and fresh tomatoes, stir to blend. Simming for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In a small bowl, mix the flour and 5 tablespoons of broth. Blend and add to tomato mix. Add remaining broth and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring frequently. Pour through a fine sieve, return to heat, add sugar and cream, then salt and pepper to taste. Simmer and stir for 3-5 minutes, serve with a garnish of chopped fresh basil. Good with bread!

What are you doing with tomatoes this week? And as usual, if you’ve got a Food Friday post to share, link to it in the comments!


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12 Responses to “Food Friday: Homemade Cream of Tomato Soup”

  1. Katy Says:

    yum. we too are struggling to keep up with our tomatoes. usually i put them in a basket by the side of the road if we get too overwhelmed.

    we mostly eat them sliced with salt or with mozzarella. really, i have nothing novel to report. but they are awfully good. also, even when there are way too many to eat, they just seem too precious to me to cook into something. when i make tomato soup it is always with muir glen’s tomatoes, not my own darlings. i see is as a sign of true sophistication and achievement to be able to cook with your own home-growns, instead of just gobbling them up unadulterated.

  2. MGF Says:

    Sounds delicious. I appreciate you sharing your recipe. I love tomato soup all times of the year.
    Maybe I should plant a tomato plant, maybe next year when my littlest monster is old enough to play ofr 5 minutes by himself.

  3. Shannon Says:

    mmmm….. sounds great. I love cream of tomato soup on a rainy day. We just had some Fox Teeth Soup yesterday (made with cream of tomato – my grandma’s recipe – will share someday when I have my own blog).

  4. Karen Says:

    Yum, now I know what to do with the pounds and pounds we got this week from various sources. I’m going to try it with soy milk since we’re a nondairy household (mostly). We’ll see how that goes…

  5. B. Says:


  6. Stacy Says:

    That sounds so yummy! I wish my tomatoes were more plentiful, but they seem to have become infested. 😦

  7. Mary Says:

    Thanks for this since we have too many tomatoes and not enough ideas. Any suggestions for acorn squash?

  8. JenBun Says:

    I agree with B– YUM! 😛

  9. Food Friday: Summer Spaghetti « Hank & Willie Says:

    […] I know what to do with, so I will take care of most of them by making this. The rest will go into tomato soup, since I don’t have to worry about skinning them. You can use cherry tomatoes or regular for […]

  10. Meredith Perdue Says:

    MMM! So tasty! Have you had Panzanella with your tomatoes, Anna? So, so delicious! Also, we always make bruschetta with ours too!

  11. Recipes Says:


    […]Food Friday: Homemade Cream of Tomato Soup « Hank & Willie[…]…

  12. Pharmazie und Gesundheit Says:

    Pharmazie und Gesundheit…

    […]Food Friday: Homemade Cream of Tomato Soup « Hank & Willie[…]…

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