Chunky Tomato Soup

We spent some time Labor Day weekend harvesting, cleaning, stewing and freezing our crop of plum tomatoes in preparation for the fall and winter months. Then this past weekend, we found ourselves craving tomatoes. We also found ourselves craving soup, as the temperature cools down and the air of early fall turns crisp. When this happens, what better meal is there than tomato soup and grilled cheese?

We grabbed a bag of those stewed tomatoes from the freezer and chopped up a few of our ginormous beefsteaks for the base. A few potatoes, a couple slices of bacon and a can of white beans rounded out our list of ingredients. We let the soup simmer long enough to mix the flavors and allow the tomatoes to break down, worked some magic with the immersion blender, and served it with a grilled cheeses made with fresh mozzarella. Unfortunately, we neglected to take a picture. We'll remember next time!


3 slices bacon
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 large red potatoes, peeled and diced
4 cups stewed tomatoes
2 large fresh beefsteak tomatoes, peeled and chopped
2 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon brown sugar
salt and pepper to taste
1 14-ounce can cannelini (white) beans, drained and rinsed

Cook bacon in a large saucepan until it is cooked to your liking and the fat is rendered. Remove the bacon and set it aside on a paper towel to cool. When it is cooled, chop the bacon. Add a tablespoon of olive oil to the bacon fat and add the chopped onion to the pot. cook it in the bacon fat over medium heat until it is soft and translucent. Add the garlic to the pot and cook until you can smell the garlic, about a minute. Then add the potatoes and cook about five minutes. Add the stewed and chopped tomatoes and the chicken broth to the pan. Allow to cook over medium heat for 30 minutes or until potatoes are cooked through. Stir in the brown sugar, salt and pepper to taste, and cook for a couple of minutes longer. Move half of the soup to a large bowl or blender and set aside. Put half of the white beans into the soup pot and half into the soup that you've set aside. Blend the set-aside soup in the blender or using an immersion blender. Return the blended mixture to the soup pot. Add the bacon, stir well and cook five minutes longer.

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