A long term goal of mine is to learn how to can and preserve. I love the idea of growing my own summer tomatoes, putting them up at the end of a fruitful summer harvest, and enjoying a midwinter tomato soup.
That dream is a few months and many skills away from happening, so until then, I will enjoy the fruits of other canners’ labors.
At the grocery store recently I noticed canned tomatoes from a local grower. Hoowdwinked by attractive packaging, I bought a can, but then relegated it to my kitchen shelf, thinking it would eventually be part of a lasagna or perhaps spaghetti and meatballs.
Instead, I made the tomatoes the star of their own dish. With only one out-of-season purchase I created a simple, delicious five ingredient tomato soup. The great thing about canning is that it has preserved your local farmer’s bounty, so there’s no need for guilt over eating a delicious tomato soup midwinter, when you need a steaming bowl of it more than ever.
I sopped up my soup with a whole-grain grilled cheese, and imagined a bumper tomato crop for the summer. Until then, I’ll be content with homemade tomato-basil soup.
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp canola oil
- One 28-oz can crushed tomatoes, preferably local
- 1 handful basil leaves, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1. Heat a large stock pot or saucepan over medium heat. Add the canola oil and heat through. Add the onion and garlic and saute until translucent, about 10 minutes. Stir frequently, to prevent burning.
2. Add the crushed tomatoes, and fill the can up with water. Add the water and bring the mixture to a boil.
3. Reduce to a simmer, add the basil and cook for 20 minutes.
4. Puree with an immersion blender or in a standing blender.
Serve with hunks of fresh bread or grilled cheese.