The technique for most soups is to start with onion, celery, carrots and other vegetables, and to cook them over very low heat with a little salt so that their own water-content is extracted and they “simmer” in their own liquid. Then, to add some broth, water or other liquids, and any other flavorings. This is a very simplified “recipe,” but applies to this tomato soup that I created, to use-up some ingredients I had:
- 1 large onion, large-diced
- 5-6 stalks of celery hearts, large-diced — cut into similar size as onion
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- (optional and not pictured — 3 or 4 carrots, large-diced — cut into similar size as onion)
Heat olive oil over medium-high heat and add onion and celery (and carrot, if using), stirring to combine. Add 1 teaspoon salt and reduce heat to medium-low. “Sweat” the vegetables — cook them over very low heat with a little salt so that their own water-content is extracted and they “simmer” in their own liquid. Stir periodically. When vegetables are translucent and almost all moisture has evaporated:
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
Add to vegetables and continue to “sweat,” stirring frequently, as garlic scorches easily. Cook approx 1-2 minutes.
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup dry white wine (optional) or juice of one lemon
- 1 heaping Tablespoon of Italian herb mix + 1 heaping teaspoon of dried basil (or any combination of dried herbs that appeals to you — fennel seed would be yummy in this soup)
Add to garlic-veg and stir to combine. Cook, stirring frequently, until almost all liquid has evaporated.
- 1 large can of tomatoes (28 oz) — can be whole or diced (if whole, squeeze with hands as you add, to crush) + all juices
- 3-4 cups veggie broth (homemade or store-bought — in the picture above I show homemade chicken broth that needed using-up, but you could also use bone broth)
Add and stir to combine. Return heat to high, and bring soup to boil for 1 minute. Then down to a low simmer for 15-20 minutes.
Allow to cool and puree. Taste, and adjust seasonings with salt, pepper, lemon juice, or water or broth (if too thick). Once soup is cool is a good time to add chopped fresh basil, if you have some.
Yield: 6-8 servings, depending on serving-size. Keep some refrigerated and freeze the rest in individual portions.
#Vegan if you use vegetable broth or water