I've never messed around too much with canning...seems like there is a lot of regulations (the recipe has to have a certain amount of acidity, the temperature has to reach a certain degree), a lot of equipment, and a lot of cleaning involved. I'll give it a try some day, but for the lazy man, or girl, freezing your tomato soup is the way to go. It's quite simple, just make a big batch of soup, toss it into jars or plastic containers, and stack them in your freezer. Then all you have to do is pull one out and throw it in a pot on the stove just to heat it through, and voila, you now have an easy, healthy, simple weeknight meal chock full of veggies and homemade goodness. I this recipe, I chose to roast the tomatoes and peppers to bring out their natural sweetness and amp up the flavor, without amping up the calories. Also, this recipe is very adaptable, so you can tweak it to add whatever veggies you have on hand. In the end, you'll have about 5 quarts of soup. Here's what you'll need....
5 jalapeno peppers (seeded and deveined)
1 large summer squash
1 red pepper (you can add more, and I recommend it if you can, because roasted red peppers are divine, but that's all I had at the moment)
1 teaspoon basil
3 teaspoons honey
3 teaspoons oil + 1 tablespoon
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 pinch red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon cracked pepper
3 large baking trays
1 large pot
2. Wash yo' tomatoes and slice 'em into 1/4 inch think rounds (don't stress too much over this). Gather about 3/4 of them and lay them flat on a baking tray (reserve about 1/4 of your chopped tomatoes for later) Don't put any more than two layers of tomatoes on one tray. Our aim is to roast these tomatoes to bring out their natural sweetness (which for best results requires as much surface contact with the hot baking tray as possible), and if you start layering them, your going to end up steaming them. I ended up using three baking trays in total.
6. Once they start to turn light brown, toss in your squash, and stir for 3-5 minutes.
8. Stir the mixture for another 2 minutes and then add in the 2 cups of stock.
10. Finally, add in the 1 teaspoon basil, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper, and a pinch of red pepper flakes (more or less for desired heat).
11. Bring the whole pot to a boil and then turn the heat to low and let the soup simmer for about 10-15 minutes. Taste test and adjust seasoning to suit your preference.
12. Use an immersion blender to blend the soup into a nice tomato bisque. Or if you are immersion-blenderless, like me, ladle your soup into the blender and give it a nice spin. Be careful! Hot soup plus blender equals blender lid blowing off because of steam. Listen to the voice of experience!
13. Once you've whirled and twirled your soup into the perfect bisque consistency (I like mine a little chunky), ladle the soup into plastic containers or glass jars (leave a little room at the top so the soup can expand when it freezes), and put it in your freezer for a great go-to meal.
(Adapted from Rachel at Kitchen Courses)
- Blend in a diced chipotle and some adobo sauce (foud in the Mexican isle) for a spicy and smoky kick.
- Add frozen corn, drained black beans, and a dash of chili powder and cumin to make it Southwestern.
- Saute bacon in a pot. Add in white beans, then stir in the soup for a filling stick-to-your-ribs meal.
- Add cooked pasta and baby spinach to make a hearty Italian soup.
- Swirl a few teaspoons of pesto into the soup.
- Stir in some cream or milk for a more decadent and silky texture.
- Add curry powder and diced chicken and garnish with chopped cilantro.
- Add roasted red peppers and garbanzo beans to the soup and top with feta cheese.
- Dip soup into oven safe bowls, and then put a slice of buttered French bread on top of the soup bowl along with your cheese of choice (cheddar, swiss, or mozarella are my recommendations). Place under the broiler until the cheese is perfectly melted and bubbling.