A recipe for homemade soup made with fresh heirloom tomatoes, chili peppers (I used jalapenos and Hungarian wax), garlic, basil and plenty of seasonings, cooked then chilled. Perfect for an end-of-summer harvest meal.
It feels like we're coming down to the end of summer, but my garden doesn't think so. Lucky for me! We woke to cooler temperatures this morning, in the lower 60s - it even dipped into the 50s for a bit. This time of year is comforting because we can sleep with the windows open, let the cooler air envelope us, bundle up in the blankets and sleep the perfect sleep. I truly love this time of the year, but the cooler temps signal the coming end of our harvest season, but we're not done yet! Not if our garden has anything to say about it. There is still plenty of time to produce, and while many people are already thinking FALL recipes and flavors, I'm still thinking SUMMER!
Seriously, look at what I just pulled out of the garden. I set them along with some of the other ingredients you'll need for the tomato soup.
All those fresh ingredients. The heirloom tomatoes are juicy and packed with nutrients. We had our choice of chili peppers. I could have gone HOT if we wanted, but settled on the lower-mid jalapeno peppers and some Hungarian wax chili peppers. Big on flavor with just a bit of heat. Plus onion, garlic (a serious must!) and lovely fresh basil. I hope my basil plant makes it through the winter. We keep popping new seeds into the container and watching them sprout. Basil ROCKS! Fresh is the way to go if you can do it.
It's another fairly simple recipe. Everything cooks down in a single pan. I used a bit of rice to give the tomato soup some body. It helps to thicken it up without affecting flavor. If you'd like thicker soup, use a bit more rice and work out the ideal ratio for you. Once it's cooked, mix it up in a blender. At this point, the big question is - to STRAIN or NOT to STRAIN. I chose NOT and poured the soup as-is. It's thicker this way, but more lumpy and you'll notice some of the seeds within. I have ZERO problem with this, as it does not affect flavor, but if you're looking for a tomato soup that is more consistent and smooth, strain out the pulp through a food mill or a strainer, or even cheese cloth, first and then pour. You also have the option of straining then adding only a PORTION of the pulp back into the soup.
Then chill. You CAN serve this hot if you'd like. Serve it right away if that is your preference. I prefer to let the flavors mingle a day or two, personally. You will notice the difference. You can reheat at that point, or serve it chilled, like we enjoy, for a quick lunch or brunch in the warm, sunny backyard. Don't forget the garnish. Swirl just a bit of olive oil over the top along with fresh herbs and sliced globe or cherry tomatoes. Those little extra bursts and pops of flavor go a long way.
I hope you enjoy it! Check out the recipe video below.
Garden Fresh Chilled Tomato Soup (with Peppers) – Recipe
- 2 tablespoons olive oil + more for garnish
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 8 ounces chili peppers, chopped – I used jalapenos and Hungarian wax peppers
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 pounds heirloom tomatoes, chopped + more for garnish, if desired
- 1 tablespoon white rice
- 1 tablespoon Creole seasoning
- 2 tablespoons chopped basil + more for garnish
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Heat a pot to medium heat. Add oil and heat through.
- Add onion and peppers. Cook about 5 minutes to soften.
- Add garlic and cook another couple minutes.
- Add tomatoes, rice, Creole seasoning, basil and salt. Stir.
- Cook about 15-20 minutes, until tomatoes break down and rice cooks through.
- Transfer to a food processor and process until smooth. Adjust salt as desired.
- At this point, you can strain the soup if you want a creamier texture.
- Transfer to a bowl and cover. Chill overnight.
- Serve into bowls and garnish with basil, sliced or chopped tomato and olive oil.