Fresh Tomato Soup Recipe

For the past two years, I have grown exactly one cherry tomato plant and one beefsteak tomato plant. Each of these has grown to be the size of a small giant, producing way more tomatoes than I know what to do with. This year, I found a recipe for cherry tomato salsa, and with one round of picking cherry tomatoes, came up with sixteen cups of diced cherry tomatoes. Anyone who doesn't can probably won't think that's a lot, but those of you who do--that's a ton for one picking, right? These tomato plants are out of control! My beefsteaks are starting to ripen, and hopefully I'll get a bunch to ripen all at once so I can make a batch or two of regular salsa. But, right now, I'm getting one or two a day, along with epic amounts of zucchini and squash, and I was stumped as to what to do with any of it.

We eat tomatoes on salads, but that's about it for fresh tomatoes. Then, last night, I was craving cheese sandwiches and tomato soup. Not only is this combo tasty, but I can whip it up in under ten minutes. Which is perfect for a day like yesterday (let's not go there--it will get nasty, I promise). But, after searching through my pantry, high and low, I found that I was out of Campbell's trusty Tomato Soup! *Melodramatic swoon* Tragedy strikes.

Enter (stage left) my large bowl of tomatoes staring up at me from the counter. Aha! I thought. I can make tomato soup. Why had I never thought of that before?

Out came trusty Google (stage center, of course) where I found this recipe by the Pioneer Woman, whose recipes have never failed me before. But it called for canned diced tomatoes and canned tomato juice (do people actually keep tomato juice on hand?). It looked so tasty, I decided to wing it with what I had. And it turned out de-lish! The altered recipe is below.

1 medium white or yellow onion, chopped
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter
5 large fresh tomatoes, chopped
2 cups water
1 can tomato paste
2 tablespoons sugar
2 chicken bouillon cubes
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil or 1 tablespoon dried basil
1 tablespoon dried parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups heavy cream

Melt the butter in a large pot. Add the onion and cook until translucent. Add the tomatoes and cook until juices are released. Add the tomato paste, water, sugar, bouillon cubes, basil (if using dried--if you're using fresh, add it with the cream), parsley, and salt and pepper. Stir to combine, then heat almost to a boil. Turn off the heat and stir in the cream. Serve warm.