A while ago, I posted my cutting board on Instagram with a whole slew of beautiful ingredients straight from our garden (minus the garlic & onions – haven’t tried growing them yet). I wish we could eat straight from our garden all year long. There’s such a rewarding feeling that comes along with slicing up your very own tomatoes, carrots, and other beautiful vegetables from my own garden, and tossing them into dinner for my family. It’s something I dream of throughout the frigid winter months, and promising springtime. Now that’s it’s Fall, we get to roll in all the bounty our garden has produced! This soup has been made several times, and uses up a ton of fresh tomatoes, basil, and carrots.
It wasn’t until I got married that I decided I like tomatoes – especially in tomato soup. I just hated tomato soup with a passion. It was gross, man. Or at least the canned version was, to me. When I started making tomato soup from scratch, I learned quickly how satisfying tomato soup can be with a pile of grilled cheese sandwiches, and a handful of fresh basil.
Unfortunately, I was still left wishing for a tomato soup made with FRESH tomatoes, not canned tomatoes (not that there’s anything wrong with canned… I just have a ton of fresh ones that needed to be used up asap!) Luckily, the plethora of tomatoes spewing from the garden gave me plenty of reason to try my hand at creating a recipe that uses fresh tomatoes, as well as throw in the pile of dirty carrots on my counter. It came together quickly and effortlessly – these simple ingredients definitely do all the talking, and make for an amazing soup.
The carrots were mostly there because I needed to use them up. I think some of my favorite and most exciting recipes have been created or tried because I needed to use up some random ingredient I had in my pantry/fridge. The carrots ended up being a perfectly hearty addition! They added a creamy texture to the overall hearty body of the soup. I also chose to use my immersion blender to puree the soup into a beautiful sunset orange/red liquid. It made for easy dunking and slurping at dinnertime! We also added some homemade mozzarella crusted croutons and some fresh mozzarella cheese on top. Enjoy!
Garden Tomato & Carrot Soup
makes 4 servings
2 T EVOO
1 1/2 C chopped carrots (peeled, ends removed)
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3-4 C chopped fresh garden tomatoes
1 T sugar
1/4 C fresh kuman leaves, chiffonade
4 C chicken broth
1-2 C half & half (depending on how creamy you want it)
kosher salt & black pepper
1. In a large soup pot, heat oil over medium heat. Toss in carrots and onions, and stir until carrots are tender, and onions are translucent. Turn heat down if onions begin to burn. Add in garlic and stir until fragrant.
2. Add in fresh garden tomatoes, sugar, and fresh basil. Stir and bring to a simmer. Let simmer for 5 minutes, then add in chicken broth. Cover with a lid, then let simmer for 20 minutes. Remove lid, and either 1) add soup to a blender and puree, or 2) puree with an immersion blender until there are no lumps in the soup. Stir in half & half, season with salt and pepper, and serve when half & half has been warmed in the soup.