Winter tomatoes lack the deep flavor of summer tomatoes, but you can enhance that flavor with canned tomato purée or sundried tomatoes.
This tomato soup recipe uses both. It’s both comfort food and holiday food, with vivid red and green colors. If you prefer a creamy soup, we’ve got Sundried Tomato Cream Soup, below.
This recipe is courtesy Bella Sun Luci, sundried tomatoes grown in sunny California.
RECIPE: SUN DRIED TOMATO SOUP
Ingredients For 4 Servings (1 Quart)
1. CUT the carrot, celery, onion and garlic into very small pieces. Simmer them in the vegetable stock until very soft, about 15 minutes.
2. ADD the rest of the ingredients, except the olive oil and the fresh basil. Simmer for 15 more minutes, then use an immersion blender or a food processor to purée with the olive oil (with a food processor, take care that the hot liquid doesn’t shoot out of the top). Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.
3. SERVE hot, garnished with the fresh basil leaves and optional crème fraîche/sour cream/Greek yogurt.
RECIPE: SUN DRIED TOMATO CREAM SOUP
Ingredients For 4 Servings
1. COMBINE the drained tomatoes with 1 cup of tomato juice in blender or food processor; purée to a smooth consistency.
2. COMBINE the purée and the remaining cup of tomato juice in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add remaining ingredients.
3. COOK over low heat until thoroughly heated. Do not boil; it can curdle the cream.
Cream of sundried tomato soup. Photo courtesy Bella Sun Luci.
HEAVY CREAM VS. WHIPPING CREAM: THE DIFFERENCE
These are similar, but not exactly the same.
Whipping cream will still whip well, but it loses its body more quickly. In a recipe like soup, the stiffness doesn’t make a difference.
Any of the three spellings of sun dried is correct. What’s more important is the meaning: sun dried tomatoes are dried naturally in the sun, over the course of 4–10 days. They are usually pre-treated with salt or sulfur dioxide to improve quality.
The drying process gives them a long shelf life, since most of the moisture, on which bacteria thrive and cause decay, is removed. They can also be preserved in olive oil or other vegetable oil.
Another technique to dehydrate tomatoes for preservation is oven drying. This is done at the lowest heat setting for 1-3 hours. If you have a bumper crop of tomatoes, or there’s a big sale on tomatoes, you can use this technique to create homemade dried tomatoes.