Tomato Soup is iconic, especially when it’s homemade and if you use fresh tomatoes or … like I did last summer, I halved small Roma Tomatoes, then a quick freeze in a single layer on a sheet pan, bagged and kept them in the freezer, for such a time as this! Camellia’s Tomato Soup is almost as easy as opening a can and my oh my! Far more delicious! Served simply with a grating of Parmesan Cheese or any Cheese you please served with crisp oyster crackers or the equally iconic Grilled Cheese, you have an easy delicious meal!
Spring is a wonderful time of year to make this Camellia’s Tomato Soup since some days are still cool. And, let’s face it, who wants to spend hours in the kitchen when you can be outside! Okay, I know the pollen is coating everything with sneezy yellow powder. Still. You can’t beat warm spicy tomato soup for seasonal allergies either! Here’s how you make- Camellia’s Tomato Soup!
Camellia’s Tomato Soup
Perfect all year round, especially in the spring and fall, when the weather may be cool. Serve with the classic grilled cheese sandwich or for a fresh cool taste- serve with grated cheese- your choice, a bit of red pepper flakes, celery sticks and crisp saltine or small oyster crackers.
- 4-6 Cups Small fresh Roma tomotoes/ halved (May use large cherry tomatoes )
- 2 Cups Chicken Stock
- 1 Slice Bacon (Uncooked)
- 1 Tbs Fresh Thyme leaves- chopped (Reduce amount if using dried Thyme)
- 1 Tbs Chopped Garlic (Finely chopped)
- 1 Large Onion sliced thickly (Separate into rings)
- 2 Tbs Chili Sauce or Tomato Paste (* chili sauce is a prepared product similar to ketchup )
- Fresh cracked Black Pepper (To taste)
- Red Pepper Flakes (To taste)
- Kosher or sea salt (To taste )
In a large covered pot place halved Small Roma Tomatoes, add 2 cups of chicken stock, drape piece of bacon across tomatoes- begin on medium high heat to bring stock to a boil, add chili sauce or tomato paste, sliced onions, chopped garlic, salt, red pepper flakes, thyme and cracked black pepper. Stir gently to combine. Cover pot and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat to medium high and simmer for up to one hour or until soup has thickened
If you prefer, the skins of the tomatoes may be removed or blended into a smoother consistency. I’ve found this unnecessary as the skin is very thin and tends to add a rustic delicious quality to the soup. The bacon fairly melts into the soup also. And, if the fresh thyme leaves only are used…there is also no need to remove the stems.
Here’s a beautiful version of a Grilled Cheese to go alongside Camellia’s Tomato Soup. Tip: Feel free to get creative, with grilled cheese sandwiches almost anything goes- Here, I used two types of cheese, American and Swiss, put a few slices of pickled jalapeños, dipped the whole sandwich in a mixture of whisked egg, topped with grated Parmesan, then fried in melted Butter!
A plain grilled cheese works too! Also, the Tomato Soup practically begs for garnishes, I have topped this soup with crumbled bacon and made cornbread croutons; or a drizzle of pesto for an Italian version. For a TexMex version- add a dollop of salsa and one of sour cream, add chopped onions and chunks of avocado is delicious with crisp corn tortilla chips- umhm soo good! I hope you’re enjoying Spring, filled with hope and good food!
Love y’all, Camellia
* All photographs are obviously mine.