Have you ever gone to a restaurant and had one of those dishes that stands out so much that you remember it and crave it years later? Well, this soup is one of those dishes. My girlfriends and I went to Calistoga for a girls weekend a few years back, and we stayed at the Solage resort in Calistoga. It was such a luxurious and fun filled weekend. The resort’s restaurant, Solbar, is amazing. Everything on its menu is seasonal, local, organic and scrumptious. We all had a cup of this soup and our taste buds were in heaven. We all kept commenting that we couldn’t believe there wasn’t any cream in the soup, because it tasted so creamy.
I have been searching for this recipe and thanks to Pinterest, I found it. How strange and lucky is that? Someone had actually pinned a copy of this recipe. Anyway, I found it and re-created it. Some of the instructions were a bit confusing, so I asked my brother-in-law (he’s a chef) to sort it out for me, and I simplified it for you all.
This soup is vegan, pure and made with such simple and fresh ingredients. It’s creamy without the cream, and it honestly doesn’t taste like your typical tomato soup, as its sweeter and not acidic. The only downside with this soup is that it’s a seasonal soup. Heirloom tomatoes are typically in season from August through the end of October, so I recommend making this soup now, and freezing a couple of batches for the winter.
heirloom tomato soup:
- 1 yellow onion, medium dice
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided - you will use 1/4 cup twice in the recipe
- 1 bunch fresh basil
- 4 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 4 springs of fresh marjoram or fresh oregano - I couldn’t find fresh marjoram so I used oregano, as it’s a similar tasting herb
- 2 garlic cloves, microplaned – see how to microplane garlic below in post
- 5 overripe heirloom tomatoes, cored and large chunked
- 1/2 tablespoon salt
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Not sure how to core a tomato? Check out the step-by-step photos below. Pretty simple, right? Below are how your tomatoes should look when they are all cored.Chop up your tomatoes into large chunks.Take your bunch of basil, your 4 sprigs of thyme and 4 sprigs of oregano or marjoram, and tie them up together with some kitchen twine.
I would actually loop the twine around a few more times than I did, and tie it in a tighter knot.The recipe asks for the garlic to be microplaned. To microplane garlic, all you need to do is get a cheese grater and rub the peeled garlic against it to grate it.Heat 1/4 cup olive oil, the diced onion and herb bunch in a dutch oven or soup pot over medium low heat, until the onion is soft, tender and translucent, but not browned.
You’re basically sweating the onion here.
Here’s a photo of the softened onions and herbs.
You can see that I should have tied my herbs together better.Stir in the garlic and quickly add the tomatoes and 1/2 tablespoon of salt.Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for about 10-15 minutes or until the tomatoes are broken down. Make sure you occasionally stir the tomatoes.
Remove the herbs. Stir in the 1-teaspoon of balsamic vinegar and the 1/4 cup of olive oil. Turn off the heat.
Puree the soup either using a hand held immersion blender or a regular blender.If you’re using a blender, return the soup to the pot after your puree it.
Keep warm until ready to serve. Below is the finished product, doesn’t it look yummy?John and the kids rated this soup a 10+ and Zoe begged me to serve it to her for lunch the next day. I packed some for her along with a popover and some fruit.This tomato soup is a bit sweeter than my creamless tomato soup, and tastes so fresh, because honestly all the ingredients are fresh. You will also have to convince yourself and your guests that there is no cream in this soup, because it tastes so creamy.
My kids were never big soup fans till I started cooking them more. I think it takes a while for kids to get use to soups. Soups are one of those dishes that look intimidating, but honestly, they are one of the easiest dishes to make. I paired this soup for lunch the next day with half of a bagel topped with cream cheese and an heirloom tomato. It was delish!I served it another day with a beet and kale salad.
This soup pairs well with just about anything.