I like to call this 4 Season Soup because it is has attributes which make it nice for all seasons. In the Summer or Spring when it is warm (or hot) it is a delightfully light soup which is delicious served at room temp or even fridge-cold! It is tasty with tea sandwiches or cold veggies or crackers. It doesn't create much heat in the kitchen to make (while you are out side!) and when the tomato harvest is plentiful, you can use your 'maters right from the garden! (YUM!) But in the winter time, fall and winter (or early spring) when it is chilly and your body tell you it needs something heartier to sustain it. You can easily convert this soup into a warm hearty one: Turn the crock on High than gather your ingredients and cut up an onion. Now toss your onion, oil and garlic in the crock with 1/4 flour and saute for a few minutes. Than add remaining ingredients. This will thicken the soup. OR You can add a 1/2C raw rice. When you puree it at the end, this will also thicken the soup. OR you can add left over cooked rice (or other grain) at the end after you have pureed the soup. My family's favorite accompaniments to this soup in the winter are grilled cheese sandwiches, Garlic Toast or Cheese Quesadillas. Another variation for winter is to add 2C of milk before serving or top with shredded cheese in the bowls. No need to buy that commercial stuff anymore! You can make this nutrient dense and delicious food (easily) from scratch without the yucky ingredients of the commercial stuff! In the winter, you also have the pantry convenience of canned tomatoes!
This recipe make a big crock of soup. You could cut it in half. (But it does freeze well!) Don't fuss with chopping things too fine, because you will puree this soup in the end.
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves or garlic, crushed
upto 1C of chopped carrots
2 pounds + of fresh tomatoes, chopped (or 2-3 cans)
2 cans tomato paste
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tsp Italian herbs (I like to sub dill sometimes too!)
veggie, garlic or chicken broth to fill the remainder of the crock (or clean water)
2T honey (optional)
Put all ingredients in the pot. Cook in High 4-5 hours or Low 8-10 hours
Puree with a hand blender in the crock or let cool and puree in small batches in a blender and reheat of serving hot.
salt and pepper to taste (Add further goodies if you desire.)