I should’ve shared this soup recipe at the end of August, or even in the middle of September. That’s when the calendar said it was late summer. But here we are, nearly mid-October, and it still feels like summer outside! It’s technically pumpkin season, however there are still beautiful heirloom tomatoes at the farmer’s markets. Mother Nature is surely confused.
One of the tenets of my personal food philosophy is to “savor the season’s freshest fruits and vegetables”. I’m not the first person to offer this advice, obviously, but it’s something that I believe in and something that just seems logical. And seasonal food feels better in my body. In the summertime, when it’s hot outside, I enjoy juicy watermelons and tomatoes to help keep my body cool. When it’s winter and cold, I eat root vegetables to help warm-up my body. Isn’t nature smart, providing the correct food for the seasons?
So what am I to do with unseasonably hot weather during the time of year that should be cooler? The farmer’s markets are full of apples, butternut squash, hearty greens, and…tomatoes. Just look at these beautiful Campari Tomatoes that I got on Tuesday!
They’re ripe and sweet, perfectly kissed by the sun! I brought a lot of these tomatoes home, figuring that this would be the last time that I’d find local heirloom tomatoes until next summer. But what to do with so many tomatoes? I knew that I wanted to make a soup to bridge the seasons, something that included summertime flavors with the grounding of Fall. And because it’s pumpkin season, and all things orange, I knew that I wanted to keep the color of the soup bright and vibrant.
This soup comes together easily with just a few pantry ingredients. The onions are sauteéd to add an additional layer of sweetness to the soup, the spices are mellow and earthy. Carrots are the grounding element – after all, they grow underground. When combined, the singular ingredients create a harmonious blend that is creamy and comforting. Like all of my recipes, there is no dairy. The smooth, silky, creamy texture comes from blending the soup in a high-speed blender. If you don’t have a Vitamix (or other high-speed blender), use whatever blender you have and pureé until the ingredients are as velvety as can be.
Serve my Late Summer Creamy Dairy-Free Tomato Soup either heated or chilled. Both options are absolutely delicious and allow this soup to be enjoyed on any day, regardless of what Mother Nature has planned. Hopefully I’ll be sharing some true Fall recipes soon, especially since Thanksgiving is 7 weeks away (but who’s counting?)!
Late Summer Creamy Dairy-Free Tomato Soup
Ingredients: (note – use organic whenever possible)
2 T sunflower oil
1/2 yellow onion, chopped (approximately 1 cup)
1 T ground turmeric
1/4 t ground ginger
1/4 t ground cumin
1 t paprika
1 pound carrots, chopped
1 pound heirloom tomatoes, chopped (I used Campari)
4 C vegetable broth
1 t sea salt, or more, to taste
optional toppings: chopped parsley, chopped olives, coconut milk
Heat oil in a large soup pot. When hot, add onion and sauté until softened, approximately 5 minutes. Stir frequently to prevent onion from burning. Add the spices (turmeric, ginger, cumin and paprika) and continue to sauté for 3 minutes.
Add the carrots and tomatoes to the pot. Stir to blend with the onions and spices. Lower the heat to medium-low and allow the tomato’s juices to come to a boil. Add the vegetable broth and sea salt, cover the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to allow the pot to simmer for 30 minutes.
Remove the lid and allow the pot to cool for 30 minutes. Use a high-speed blender (i.e. Vitamix) to pureé the soup. Alternatively, use an immersion blender, but the soup won’t be as smooth and creamy as if using a high-speed blender.
Return the mixture to the pot, taste for seasoning and add more salt, if needed. Gently reheat, if desired, to serve warm. Alternatively, cool soup and serve chilled.
Top each bowl with chopped parsley and/or chopped olives. Or drizzle some coconut milk on the top of each bowl.
Recipe yields 6 generous servings
Soup can be made 2 days in-advance of serving; leftovers can be frozen for up to 1 month.
To make all year round, freeze chopped heirloom tomatoes (weigh 1 pound, chop, and place in a ziploc bag) when they are fresh and in-season. Use frozen tomatoes to make the soup in the wintertime and serve the soup hot.