A freeze is coming—tomorrow. I spent an hour on Saturday, wistfully pulling up my tomato plants and harvesting a whole lot of green tomatoes. I found a lot of ripe fruit though, and I used the not-so-pretty tomatoes in a very tart, very simple tomato soup.
Homemade tomato soup, from homegrown tomatoes, is a totally different animal from the canned tomato soup I ate as a child. While we always diluted the canned stuff with milk to increase the comfort factor, I don’t know that it was actually necessary. The tomato flavor was fairly dilute to begin with. Soup from fresh tomatoes, however, is very intense. Cutting it with some sort of fat—in this case I used cashew milk—mellows it out and reduces the acidity.
You can use any type of milk, dairy or non-dairy—almond milk, soy milk, regular milk, cream, etc.—to accomplish this. Cashew milk is easy to make, though, and its consistency is much like that of cream.
This recipe is from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone.
Here’s how to make cashew milk:
Place 1 cup of raw cashews in a bowl with 2 cups of water. Cover and place in the refrigerator overnight. Whole cashews are generally better for this than are cashew pieces, because the pieces are often dried out. The next day, drain the water, rinse the cashews and place in a blender with water to cover by about 1 inch. Blend until smooth.
Add a few tablespoons of cashew milk to your soup at serving time.
Simple Fresh Tomato Soup
4-5 pounds ripe tomatoes, cut in 1-inch pieces
8-10 shallots, minced
3T oil or butter (coconut oil or olive oil are good)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oil or butter in a soup pot. Add the shallots and cook for about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes, along with 1/2 cup of water and simmer for 45 minutes to an hour. Pass the mixture through a food mill into a clean pot. Add salt and pepper to taste. To serve, swirl in some nut milk, soy milk, milk or cream.