Got cherry tomatoes? Try my roasted cherry tomato soup recipe.
In my garden, I gave up on growing beefsteak-style “slicer” tomatoes a couple years ago. These days, I embrace cherry tomatoes and I haven’t looked back. It’s a quirky decision, to be sure. I offer up a pair of advantages cherry tomatoes hold over larger beefsteak-style tomatoes: the squirrels don’t seem to be as interested in the cherry tomatoes, and the smaller, sweeter fruits make pleasant treats to pop in my mouth while I scout my garden. The gardener’s treat, you might say.
I get my sun-ripened heirloom tomato fix from gardening friends and my local farmer’s market. So there is that. I’m blessed to be selective in the produce that I choose to produce.
I planted my keyhole garden with a half-dozen plants this year, three each of SunGold and Sweet 100’s. These wild indeterminate plants, fueled up with rich organic soil and abundant sun and rain, shot out branches, foliage and fruit all summer long. (Gardener’s journal note: planted seedlings mid-April, first fruits in June, still harvesting in September.)
Two Master Gardener tips for growing tomatoes: When you grow indeterminate tomatoes, trellis early and often, and keep your pruning snips handy. (Remember that determinate tomatoes are the bushy types that keep a compact shape and produce fruit for a shorter period. Indeterminate varieties will grow and produce fruit up until first frost.)
In the Kitchen
It’s easy to slice cherry tomatoes in half and toss them in salads. They’re even better if you roast them first. I save a few cupfuls for this tomato soup recipe inspired by my favorite TV chef, Jacques Pepin. I have many of his books, and I think this one, written for the series with his daughter Claudine, is my favorite. The book, “Cooking with Claudine (Jacques Pepin’s Kitchen)” published in 1996 and is a companion to the public television series.
Jacques Pepin’s gift as a teacher gave me confidence to break away from rigid reliance on recipes. Especially in savory dishes, once you understand ingredients and techniques and how they work together, you can be creative and make a recipe your own.
In the series, Jacques and Claudine made a “tomato chowder” with pureed fresh cherry tomatoes. In my version, I roast the cherry tomatoes to deepen the flavor. Jacques writes that the egg and crouton toppings make the soup and they certainly dress it up and make the soup feel like a proper, satisfying meal.
Roasted Cherry Tomatoes Recipe
Oven roasting cherry tomatoes is an easy way to preserve the harvest. You’ll need two pints of cherry tomatoes for the soup recipe, below.
2 pints cherry tomatoes, washed, stems removed
Salt and pepper
- Heat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. In a bowl, toss the tomatoes with enough olive oil to lightly coat, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil for speedy clean-up. Spread tomatoes on baking sheet and place in oven.
- Bake at 450 degrees until the tomatoes collapse and show bits of browning on their edges, about 25 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let cool. Use the tomatoes in the following soup recipe. If not using straightaway, store in a container for up to a week in the refrigerator.
Roasted Cherry Tomato Soup Recipe
Inspired by the Tomato Chowder recipe in “Cooking with Claudine.”
2 pints cherry tomatoes, roasted (see recipe above)
1 onion, diced
4 baby carrots from the bottom of the produce bin (or equivalent whole carrots), diced
3 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
Water or stock
Pinch of sugar
3 sprigs thyme
Garnishes: Jammy or hard-boiled eggs, croutons
- Roast the cherry tomatoes (see recipe above). Place roasted tomatoes in food processor and whizz until pureed.
- Pull out your favorite soup pot and place it on the stovetop over medium heat. I like my Lodge enameled cast iron Dutch oven, but any 4 to 6 quart pot will do.
- Pour a couple tablespoons olive oil in the soup pot. Saute onion and carrots until soft (about five minutes), add garlic and cook until fragrant, about a minute more.
- Add tomato puree plus enough water or stock to equal 6 cups. Season with a pinch of sugar, salt and pepper. Add thyme sprigs and let the soup come to a boil. Lower heat, and let simmer for about 20 minutes. Remove thyme sprigs before serving.
- Garnish individual servings with croutons and eggs.
Store leftovers in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Perfectly Imperfect Recipes
This recipe is perfectly imperfect.
I’m a home cook, not a chef. My recipes are not tested by anyone other than myself and your mileage may vary. If the ingredients or steps look a little off, let me know and I’ll make a correction. (That’s the beauty of blogging, right?)