Smoked Tomato Soup
Tomato soup is great on a cold winter’s day, but it can be rather boring. Add some chopped basil, crisp croutons or really elevate this iconic soup by smoking the tomatoes first. In the restaurant, we often substituted a rich flavorful vegetable stock (made with garlic and sun dried tomatoes) for the chicken stock to make it vegetarian and vegan friendly.
This soup recipe comes from my Foodie trips to the Provence region of France. I served the soup with a local olive bread called Fougasse with its “leaf shaped” form and topping of chopped olives and herbs. I’ll post that recipe in the near future.
This week, I served this soup with a pepper jack grilled cheese sandwich that I made with some homemade olive-sourdough bread featuring Castelvertrano olives from Sicily. Truly, it was an amazing combination.
I highly recommend the Cameron’s stovetop smoker for smoking the tomatoes in this recipe, it is an amazing inexpensive kitchen tool that works great for smoking foods from vegetables and salmon fillets to hanger steak and pork tenderloin.
My first introduction to this smoker was during my time working in New York City at a restaurant named Aquavit. We hot smoked salmon to order in the smoker with juniper branches.
Smoked Tomato SoupCourse: SoupsCuisine: FrenchDifficulty: Medium
6 plum tomatoes
2 Tablespoons + 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion
2 carrots, peeled, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 (28-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes with added puree
6 cups chicken broth
kosher salt, white and black pepper
2 teaspoons chopped basil
- Core and halve the tomatoes lengthwise. Place them cut side up on a baking sheet and drizzle them with 2 Tablespoons of the olive oil and sprinkle them with kosher salt and black pepper.
- Smoke the tomatoes for 20 minutes with a fruit wood (cherry or apple) in a Cameron’s Stovetop Smoker over medium-heat, or any other smoker you may own. If you don’t have a smoker, roast the tomatoes in a 375 degree oven for 1 hour. A smoked flavor can be achieved by adding a small amount of “liquid smoke” which is available at most supermarkets.
- Melt the butter in a large (4-quart) saucepan. Add the onions and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the carrots, celery, garlic, bay leaf, red pepper flakes and thyme. Cook for 3 more minutes. Add canned tomatoes, smoked tomatoes and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, and reduce to a simmer for about 30 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and discard the bay leaf. Blend the soup with either a handheld immersion blender or in a regular household blender until smooth. Season with salt and white pepper.
- To serve, sprinkle the soup with the chopped basil and crisp croutons.