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Fresh Cream of Tomato Soup

Have a bumper crop of tomatoes begging for recipes?  Vine-ripened juicy tomato slices or fresh tomato sauce are  incomparable to winter’s hot-house tomatoes.  But I tend to be a miser when I have terrific tomatoes. So when I developed this recipe, rather than cooking bushels of tomatoes down to a thickened soup,  I cheated a little by adding pantry staple canned tomato sauce.  (So I save more of my fresh tomatoes for slicing!) The soup has fresh tomato flavor that holds up to milk or cream for a smooth and silky richness. Sweet-tangy seasoned rice vinegar peaks the tomato flavor and adds a little kick. Perfect hot or chilled on a summer night.

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Fresh Cream of Tomato Soup

Makes 6 servings
Prep time: 30 minutes

2 pounds tomatoes (about 16) sliced – see tip below
3/4 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup Nakano Seasoned Rice Vinegar – any flavor
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups cream or milk
1 can (15 oz.) tomato sauce
Yogurt or sour cream for garnish

In a large saucepan, combine tomatoes, onion, rice vinegar, thyme, oregano and pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 10 minutes. Cool slightly. Puree soup in a food processor or with a hand-held immersion blender until smooth. Return to saucepan; stir in cream (or milk) and tomato sauce. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes or until thickened and slightly reduced. Serve hot or chilled with a drizzle of yogurt or sour cream.

Tips:
Roma tomatoes have less juice and seeds than slicing tomatoes and will produce a thicker soup, but any variety works well.
I use regular canned tomato sauce, no additional seasonings.
Try Rita’s Fresh Tomato Sauce for another in-season tomato recipe.

An original recipe by Rosemary Mark.  Photo by Lisa Keenan, styled by Vicki Roberts Russell.

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