• Clever Gourmet

Zesty Tomato Soup

Fun fact; the biggest tomato fight in the world happens each year in the small Spanish town of Buñol.

The festival called La Tomatina, involves some 40,000 people throwing 150,000 tomatoes at each other.

Tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwich on a cold winter day (or any day) is not only a comforting meal, but also a perfect combination. Turn this from vegan to vegetarian by adding goat cheese. Crumble goat cheese and add as much or as little you like by stirring into hot soup. It’ll be soup nirvana as the goat cheese melts and adds depth and creaminess to this heavenly soup.

Selecting the right tool for the job is important and applies to any industry or trade. This soup will still come out great if you don't have Dutch oven, but to me.....eeeeh, it just doesn't feel the same. It's like drinking a 1989 Chateau Margaux out of a coffee cup. It will not diminish its taste, but it feels and taste better out of a fine Riedel reserve glass. It's just the right thing to do, and if you do it...do it right!

I love my Dutch Oven and use it for all kinds of dishes, but especially for soups. If you don't have one, get one. You will not regret it. It holds heat evenly and bakes well in oven and will last you a lifetime.


3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

6 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped

1 medium yellow onions, peeled and diced

2 pounds vine-ripe or Roma tomatoes,

washed, cored and chunked into pieces

1 - 6 ounce can tomato paste

3 cups vegetable broth, store bought

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar

salt and pepper mix to taste


In a Dutch oven or large saucepan heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until it looses its raw appearance, then add onions and sweat until translucent and soft, but not brown, about 5 minutes.

Add tomatoes, tomato paste, vegetable broth and sugar. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes. Add baking soda and puree soup with an immersion blender until smooth.

Strain soup through a kitchen strainer into another pot to remove all seeds and skin. Add balsamic vinegar, season with salt and pepper and return to a quick boil before serving.

Divide into soup bowls and garnish with goat cheese and/or a spoon full of nut-free basil pesto.

Serves up to 6

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