heirloom tomato soup

heirloom tomato soup (1 of 1)-3Have 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 of 1)

heirloom tomato soup:

recipe slightly adapted from Solbar at Solage Resort
makes 6 portions
printer friendly version

  • 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

Prep all your ingredients.  Wash your herbs, chop up your onion, peel your garlic and core your tomatoes.

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.

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{ 49 comments… add one }

  • Crisanta September 5, 2012, 1:51 pm

    I can’t believe you found this recipe! I can’t wait to try it. My boyfriend and I just got back from Solage/Solbar and they are serving the most incredible cold corn soup this summer. We asked the waitress how they make it and apparently they use no cream and somehow incorporate all parts of the corn into the dish! Simply Amazing.

    Reply
    • Jacquelyn Grandy September 5, 2012, 2:07 pm

      Hi Crisanta. That corn soups sounds amazing. I will see if I can find it online. I thought it was hilarious that I found this recipe on pinterest of all places. Solage is all vegan restaurant now from what I understand. I am itching to go back there with my husband, as I have not been back since that trip with my girlfriends, lame, I know.

      Reply
    • Jacquelyn Grandy September 6, 2012, 1:39 pm

      Hi Crisanta. I found the corn soup. Here’s the link if you’re interested. I think I might make some up this weekend based on your rave review.

      http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/chilled-corn-soup-00420000005975/

      Reply
  • l o v e l y t h i n g s September 5, 2012, 3:27 pm

    Jackie,
    This looks so good and your photos are gorgeous! The soup looks so rich and creamy…like it would have a cup of heavy cream…I love that it doesn’t! I’ve been reading so much about vegan diets…this has all the flavor and texture without all the bad stuff! I’m making this on Saturday after a trip to the farmer’s market!
    xo
    annie

    Reply
    • Jacquelyn Grandy September 5, 2012, 4:16 pm

      Thanks Annie. I’m slowly adding more vegan and vegetarian foods to our weekly menu. I really enjoy “whole foods” vegan cooking and not the processed vegan stuff like the vegan cheese and vegan substitutes for meat. I am finding more and more soup recipes that don’t incorporate cream, but really taste creamy. It has opened up a whole new world for me.

      Reply
  • l o v e l y t h i n g s September 5, 2012, 3:27 pm

    Jackie,
    This looks so good and your photos are gorgeous! The soup looks so rich and creamy…like it would have a cup of heavy cream…I love that it doesn’t! I’ve been reading so much about vegan diets…this has all the flavor and texture without all the bad stuff! I’m making this on Saturday after a trip to the farmer’s market!
    xo
    annie

    Reply
  • Becca @ The Dabblist September 5, 2012, 3:35 pm

    I love Solbar! This looks delicious, I definitely plan on making it.

    Reply
  • Sue/the view from great island September 5, 2012, 6:31 pm

    I’m so glad you posted this, I’ve wanted to make tomato soup with heirloom tomatoes all summer long, but other tomato ideas kept getting in the way! I love how the multicolored tomatoes turn that golden color when they’re all cooked and blended. I can’t wait to taste this!

    Reply
    • Jacquelyn Grandy September 5, 2012, 6:59 pm

      Thanks Sue. I’m trying out some other colored heirloom tomatoes just to see if the soup color changes at all.

      Reply
  • Pam September 6, 2012, 3:21 am

    It looks AMAZING!

    Reply
  • Averie @ Averie Cooks September 6, 2012, 4:53 am

    This is just gorgeous and I’ve been trying to find a minute to comment all day! Okay so when I was pregnant I was so.sick. Morning sickness was an all day, every day affair. The only things I wanted were white carbs and the tomato soup from get this..of all places…Nordstrom Cafe. They have the BEST tomato bisque soup I’ve ever eaten and I ate so much of it when I was pregnant from their cafe. A pricey little habit. I recreated the recipe (but lost it!) and from the looks of this soup, I think you’re probably pretty close! The next time you’re near a Nordstrom, go in there and ask for even a taste of their soup. Would love to hear how the Solage compares to the Nordstrom and how they compare to yours.

    Just beautiful pics, too!

    Reply
    • Jacquelyn Grandy September 6, 2012, 1:18 pm

      Hi Averie. So funny that you craved white carbs and tomato soup of all things. I craved believe it or not, taco bell tacos and fettuccini alfredo? That was 13 years ago, so I cut myself some slack. I will definitely try their soup when they get the cafe up and running. Our local Nordstrom is going through a major renovation. I bet if you go on-line and try and search for the recipe, you will find it. I found this soup in pinterest of all places!

      Reply
  • Em (Wine and Butter) September 6, 2012, 1:29 pm

    Yum yum yum! I will definitely need to make this before I go back as heirloom tomatoes are NOT a thing in England. You know how crazy I am about your other tomato soup – but how Im also trying to not rely on bread too much – so this looks great. I actually made a HUGE batch of tomato miso soup to take to a friend of my mums who is currently having chemo. I turned out delicious but I needed to finish it with creme fraiche so Id love to try this dairy free one to compare. Cannot wait for tomorrow! xo

    Reply
    • Jacquelyn Grandy September 6, 2012, 1:42 pm

      Hi Em! Yes, you have to try this soup before you go. It’s the best soup, and right up your alley. I love my creamless tomato soup, but this one is so much better and has such flavor from the heirloom tomatoes. It really doesn’t taste like traditional tomato soup. It’s sweeter and creamier. Maybe I should pick you up and bring you to my house for soup and salad tomorrow instead of going to lunch at a restaurant, but if I did that you would have to hang and pick up the kids from school. Not a fun afternoon for you! Can’t wait to see you!

      Reply
  • Wendy McKinley September 29, 2012, 5:22 pm

    This soup has become a McKinley Family regular, I will be lost once heirloom season is done. We have been making this with grill cheese sandwiches. Its also good with some chicken apple sausage mixed in.

    Reply
  • Anonymous September 29, 2012, 10:49 pm

    Sooooo delicious! and almost as important is it’s so easy and quick. Only thing I would change is that next time I am doubling the recipe. It dissappeared way too quickly! Actually I might make a huge batch and freeze it for later when we are missing all these wonderful heirlooms.
    Keep the great recipes coming Jackie!!!!

    Reply
  • Sally Maccoun October 11, 2012, 12:18 am

    Hi Jacquelyn, thanks for your inspiring blog! Making the soup, what about the tomato skins?

    Reply
    • Jacquelyn Grandy October 11, 2012, 1:03 am

      Hi Sally! You actually keep the skins on, believe it or not, and they break down.

      Best of luck making the soup and let me know how it turns out!
      Jackie :)

      Reply
  • Anonymous October 28, 2012, 10:00 pm

    I tried and mine turned out bitter and not very good. I think my mistake is that the tomatoes were not totally ripe as the season is ending right now. I will try again, but make sure you use VERY ripe tomatoes. Thanks for the recipe. Great web site, and thank you.

    Reply
    • Jacquelyn Grandy October 28, 2012, 10:13 pm

      Hi there! Sorry about the soup! It’s virtually the end of the season so I would wait try this soup again at the end of next summer, depending on where you live and when the tomatoes are ripe. I just made up another batch last week with some overripe tomatoes that I found and it was great, but you really have to pick through the produce right now, but yes, you need very overripe tomatoes. They need to be very soft and squishy in places.

      I hope the next time that you make the soup it turns out terrific for you!
      xoxo,
      Jackie

      Reply
  • Anonymous November 8, 2012, 7:51 pm

    Just got a bunch of heirloom tomatoes from a friend and didn’t know what to do with it. Found your recipe online and made the soup last night….delicious and easy (esp with your step-by-step instructions and pictures). Thank you so much! – Valerie (Fremont, CA)

    Reply
    • Jacquelyn Grandy November 8, 2012, 8:17 pm

      Hi Valerie! Thanks for letting me know how the soup turned out for you. I love hearing results. I just saw a batch of heirlooms at Whole Foods yesterday and was so tempted to make another batch, but I have 2 batches in the freezer already. If I see them tomorrow, I might just have to make up another batch. I’m glad you appreciate the step-by-step instructions. They are a lot of work to put together, but I know they help me, so I assume they help others as well.
      xoxo,
      Jackie

      Reply
  • Keri H January 14, 2013, 1:25 am

    I just made this for dinner. It’s the first soup I’ve ever made from scratch and it is by far the best tomato soup I’ve ever tasted! Thank you so much for this recipe!

    Reply
    • jackiegrandy January 14, 2013, 2:29 am

      Awesome Keri! I’m so glad that you made your first homemade soup from my blog and that is was so successful for you, so exciting! I LOVE this soup and it is honestly my FAVORITE soup in the world. I’m so sad that heirlooms are out of season right now and can’t wait till August when I can make this soup again. Where do you live that you have heirlooms in season right now, Australia? Anyway, thanks so much for stopping by and letting me know how the soup turned out for you :) xoxo, Jackie

      Reply
  • Anonymous January 17, 2013, 5:55 pm

    Yesterday I made this soup for lunch. It was amazing!! I used a combination of hot house, orange and yellow tomatoes since heirloom ones aren’t in season where I live. I can’t wait to make it with heirloom tomatoes when they are in season. I also added a few more cloves of garlic.
    It’s perfect on a cold winter’s day!
    Thanks for posting this recipe.
    Astrid

    Reply
    • jackiegrandy January 17, 2013, 6:09 pm

      Hi Astrid! Wow, thanks for the tomato tip. My kids have been missing this soup since Heirlooms season is over here as well. I’m going to give those hot house tomatoes a try. You will love it with heirlooms. They have to be really ripe though, not firm. Have a great day Astrid :)

      Reply
  • Jen Anderson January 25, 2013, 3:56 am

    Heirlooms were on sale – I bought 4 and used them in this soup (with 1/2 an onion). It was great – thanks for putting the recipe online!

    Reply
    • jackiegrandy January 26, 2013, 1:25 am

      Hi Jen! Ok, I’m guessing you must be somewhere like Australia where heirlooms are in season right now, because they are no where to be found in my neck of the woods. I wish they were, but that’s just something for me to look forward to, right? I’m glad you made up the soup and loved it. I love hearing how people like a recipe, so thanks for commenting! Have a great weekend! xoxo, Jackie

      Reply
  • Michelle May 16, 2013, 12:02 am

    Heirloom tomatoes are my favorite! I have to try this, it looks soooo good!

    Reply
  • Paula Black July 21, 2013, 10:33 pm

    Great info on kale… Thanks!

    Reply
  • Yvette July 31, 2013, 12:42 am

    On a quest to eat better I came across your website. I feel like I have struck gold. I have made several receipts and each one is a winner. Tonight I made the soup and popovers. There was not one drop left. My nine year old son was the first one to ask “is there cream in this?” My husband’s comment was “this is a very impressive soup.” It is such a great feeling to cook when your family loves the meals…thank you! The only thing I will do different next time is double the receipe.

    Yvette

    Reply
    • jackiegrandy July 31, 2013, 4:33 am

      Hi Yvette! Woo hoo! You made my night with your comment. I love that you made both the soup and the popovers and that they were both a huge hit with the family. I feel the same way as you, cooking a meal that my family devours and loves is the best feeling ever! It just makes you feel good as a mom :) Thanks so much for stopping by and letting me know how everything went! xoxo, Jackie

      Reply
  • Carmen Wolfe August 17, 2013, 4:40 am

    I decided to make this soup as a pre- celebration dinner for my bday.
    It was amazing ! The herbs and tomatoes made me get a second bowl.
    I added roasted red pepper and kicked it up with cayenne
    So it’s to spicy for my family but that’s ok bc then u do t have to share:)
    With a side of cheesy toast and a mango it was a perfect celebration.the pics were helpful and it was it fun to microplabr garlic

    Reply
    • jackiegrandy August 18, 2013, 3:34 pm

      Hi Carmen! Yaay! I’m so happy to hear that you loved this soup. I also love that you added some roasted red pepper, I think I may have to give that a try sometime. Microplaning the garlic is always scary for me, as I’m afraid that I’m going to slice my finger, but I’m glad you enjoyed it :) Thanks for stopping by and letting me know how the soup turned out for you. xoxo, Jackie

      Reply
  • Emily3 August 22, 2013, 7:19 pm

    Wow, this is maybe the best soup I’ve ever made! I found your site when searching for a soup recipe to use up some heirloom / homegrown tomatoes (I’m growing 6 tomato plants) and I am just blown away by how good this tastes! I used 3 varieties in the soup — ones that were quite ripe and in danger of getting tossed soon. Aunt Ruby’s German Green, Lemon Boy, and Early Girl. I think this will be my go-to soup to make (and freeze) when I have extra tomatoes laying around. Thanks for sharing it, and I look forward to trying more of your recipes.

    Reply
    • jackiegrandy August 23, 2013, 4:38 am

      Hi Emily! It’s really good right? I felt the same way when I first tried it. I couldn’t believe that so much flavor could come from so few ingredients. I love that you’re growing your own tomatoes. That was something I was planning to do this spring, but I never got around to it. Maybe next spring :)
      You should try the grilled heirloom tomato bruschetta. It’s another wonderful way to make use of all those heirloom tomatoes you have. Anyway, I’m so happy to hear that the soup was a success and I can’t wait to hear what you make up next! :) xoxo, Jackie

      Reply
      • Anonymous August 23, 2013, 7:13 pm

        I’ll look into the bruschetta recipe – thanks! I made popovers yesterday to go with the soup — delicious! My husband thought the soup had a lot of cream and was surprised at how healthy and tasty it was. FYI I am planning to try the chocolate cake and icing recipes you posted for my daughter’s upcoming birthday. They look great!

        If you want an easy way to grow tomatoes, check out the EarthBox container system at http://www.earthbox.com. I bought one last spring, then bought 2 more a week later, and this summer I now have 6! You can grow 2 tomato plants in a box, and they get huge. You have to stake the plants using something sturdy and tall, but the results have been incredible for me. I previously tried growing tomatoes in the ground and in regular containers, but with minimal success. The EarthBox has a water reservoir so it delivers a consistent, continuous level of moisture to the plant’s roots. It is a great system and I tell anyone who wants to grow tomatoes all about it.

        Reply
      • Emily3 August 23, 2013, 7:15 pm

        I’ll look into the bruschetta recipe – thanks! I made muffin tin popovers yesterday to go with the soup — delicious! My husband thought the soup had a lot of cream and was surprised at how healthy and tasty it was. FYI I am planning to try the chocolate cake and icing recipes you posted for my daughter’s upcoming birthday. They look great!

        If you want an easy way to grow tomatoes, check out the EarthBox container system at http://www.earthbox.com. I bought one last spring, then bought 2 more a week later, and this summer I now have 6! You can grow 2 tomato plants in a box, and they get huge. You have to stake the plants using something sturdy and tall, but the results have been incredible for me. I previously tried growing tomatoes in the ground and in regular containers, but with minimal success. The EarthBox has a water reservoir so it delivers a consistent, continuous level of moisture to the plant’s roots. It is a great system and I tell anyone who wants to grow tomatoes all about it.

        Reply
        • jackiegrandy August 23, 2013, 8:52 pm

          Hi Emily! Wow, thanks for the link and info on the earth box containers. I will totally look into those, as I would need to do a container garden anyway. Our soil has too much clay in it.
          So happy that you made the popovers :) Isn’t it funny how the soup tastes so creamy but there is no cream. Each time I make up the soup, Zoe always comments about how creamy it is. Your daughter is going to LOVE that cake. My best girlfriend is making it up today for her son’s birthday tomorrow. Please email or comment if you have any questions for when making the cake. I hope it turns out fabulous for you :) xoxo, Jackie

          Reply
  • Kathi September 1, 2013, 6:23 pm

    Very easy to make , I’m garlic crazy so I made mine with little more garlic all I can say is YUM !

    Reply
  • Greg September 14, 2013, 3:45 am

    Just made this with some fresh Heirloom Tomatoes and Basil from the farmers market – Its wonderful
    Perfect blend of flavors and so silky

    I just added some extra pepper to spice it up and a bit of hot sauce on top of my serving for some heat

    Reply
    • jackiegrandy September 15, 2013, 2:11 am

      Hi Greg. I’m so happy that you made and loved this soup, and you’re right that it’s really a perfect blend of flavors. It’s one of my all time fave soups. I love your addition of some spice to give it a kick. My hubby sometimes adds a bit of spice to his soup as well. :)

      Reply
  • Sarah October 13, 2013, 5:09 pm

    Wow. I just made this recipe. Amazing. My four year old even had a little and agreed it was pretty tasty – and we know those little ones are tough critics. I stumbled across your website last week when someone emailed me the spaghetti squash taco recipe and since then I’ve made five of your recipes. I’ve loved every single one…I thought, this blog is written for me, it’s everything that I love (hear hear on the kale!)! Looking forward to keeping up with your posts and trying new recipes. I have two little guys and am always thinking of ways that we can try and eat together, healthily!

    Reply
    • jackiegrandy October 14, 2013, 1:20 pm

      Hi Sarah! Yaay, first off I’m super psyched that you made and loved this soup and that your 4 year old liked it as well. Win win! I’m also psyched that you made 5 successful recipes from the blog as well. Give your friend a huge thank you from me for turning you onto the blog. I have a new kale pasta recipe coming up that your boys might like. It’s a cross between my lacinato kale salad and broccoli lemon pasta. The lemon helps take away the bitter flavor of the kale.

      Thanks so much for saying hi and for writing such a sweet comment. I’m so happy that you’re finding so many recipes to try and that you’re loving each and every one! That’s why I continue with this blog, for people like you, so thanks for making the recipes! Have a wonderful week! xoxo, Jackie

      Reply
      • Sarah October 14, 2013, 6:35 pm

        Looking forward to the kale pasta recipe! The broccoli lemon pasta (including pine nuts) was a big success. My two year old did pick out the broccoli but that was expected. Best Chocolate Chip Cookies just came out of the oven. Fantastic.

        Reply
        • jackiegrandy October 15, 2013, 2:51 am

          Yaay Sarah! I’m psyched that all those recipes were successes. I’m sure that in a few years your two year old will be chomping away at the broccoli. My kids we’re not fans of broccoli till they were at least 4. I hope the cookies were tasty as well ;)

          Reply
  • Kristin July 18, 2014, 5:38 pm

    It always amuses me when people say “sounds wonderful,” but they haven’t made the recipe! I actually made this soup this morning – used five juicy heirloom pink brandywine tomatoes, walla walla white onions, late pink garlic and fresh oregano, thyme and basil, all from my garden. The soup is ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS!! A few notes: my home grown garlic cloves are small and I didn’t want to scrape my knuckles on the grater, so I used my garlic crusher (Zyliss is the best one). Also, after pureeing, there were lots of seeds and pieces of skin in the soup, so I strained it, pushing everything thru the strainer but the most coarse bits. I am so excited about this recipe, because my heirloom plants are producing like crazy and I now have a wonderful use for the tomatoes that are lined up all over my kitchen counters. Can’t wait to freeze and serve when the weather turns cold! Thanks!!

    Reply
    • jackiegrandy July 21, 2014, 10:40 pm

      Hi Kristin! I’m so happy to hear that you made and loved this soup! It’s one of my FAVES and I get so excited come heirloom season so I can just gobble this soup up. I end up pureeing my soup in my vitamix, so all of the seeds and skin get incorporated, so I’ve never strained them and honestly I’ve never noticed any seeds or skin in the soup. Enjoy those heirlooms! I love them! I keep saying each year that I’m going to grow some heirloom plants, but I never do, someday :) Have a wonderful week! xoxo, Jackie

      Reply

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