Fresh Tomato Soup with Mascarpone

Be sure to pick up a copy of today’s Tennessean, where this recipe for Fresh Tomato Soup with Mascarpone (excerpted below) is featured in my monthly blogs column.

For some, tomato soup is the ultimate comfort food. I totally get it. On a dreary day, a warm bowl of soup and a crispy, buttery grilled cheese do wonders to lighten the mood.

But I’ll be honest when I tell you I’ve never been a fan. Granted, my only real exposure to the stuff was from an iconic red and white can, but still, something about the flavor just never sat right with me. Could be the fact that, as a child, I was a tomato-hater, and turned up my nose at anything they touched (other than pizza, of course, but that was only because the tomato was disguised underneath a thick layer of cheese).

Even as an adult, when my taste buds matured and I finally realized that tomatoes weren’t, in fact, evil, but rather quite spectacular, tomato soup was still never up there on my list of favorite foods, let alone comfort foods.

This summer marked a first for me: the first time I actually made tomato soup (because why put all that time and effort into something you don’t like?). A travesty, I know, because a good tomato soup should be a part of every home cook’s repertoire. I don’t know what sparked it or what came over me, but I put it on our weekly menu. It was time to give soup a chance.

And you know what? It wasn’t so bad. Quite the opposite, actually. I really surprised myself with this one. It probably didn’t hurt that I added a heaping scoop of fresh mascarpone cheese at the end. You know, for good measure.

While tomato soup recipes often call for tomatoes in myriad forms (fresh, roasted, canned, pasted, sun-dried, pureed or chopped, just to name a few), this soup intentionally highlights the gorgeous, perfectly-ripe tomatoes that currently grace our local markets. The last of the late summer crop are arguably the best tomatoes of the year (perhaps second only to the long awaited first bite in June). The heat truly brings out the sweetness of this often under-appreciated fruit. And in this recipe, the tomato is the star, giving the soup and flavor a brightness that off-season or canned tomatoes just can’t beat.

Fresh Tomato Soup with Mascarpone

Yield: 4 servings

Total Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, diced (about ¾ cup chopped)

1 medium carrot, peeled and diced (about ½ cup chopped)

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon fresh chopped oregano

1 teaspoon fresh chopped thyme

½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (more or less to taste)

2 tablespoons tomato paste

¼ cup white wine

5 ripe medium tomatoes* (about 2 pounds), cored and roughly chopped

1 teaspoon granulated sugar

¼ cup mascarpone cheese**


Directions:

In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and carrot and sauté until translucent, 6 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic, herbs and red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant.


Add the tomato paste and stir until all the vegetables are evenly coated. Add the white wine and cook for about a minute or until the liquid is mostly evaporated, stirring to incorporate any brown bits from the bottom of the pan.


Add tomatoes and their juices along with the sugar and simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes or until tomatoes are soft and just beginning to break down. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.


Transfer to a blender or food processor (working in batches if necessary, and be careful when blending hot foods!) and puree until smooth. Return to saucepan set over medium-low heat until heated through; season to taste with salt and pepper. Add mascarpone and stir until smooth and serve warm with crusty bread.


* While the perfectly ripe, peak-season tomatoes are what make this soup truly special, during the rest of the year you can substitute a 28-ounce can of San Marzano tomatoes.

** Mascarpone is a soft fresh cheese similar to cream cheese. You can find it locally at some grocery stores, Whole Foods or Lazzaroli Pasta in Germantown. Substitute heavy cream if you can’t find it.


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36 Comments Leave a Comment »

  1. I have seen cream cheese used before in tomato soup, but loving the use of mascarpone here

  2. Looks good! Fresh colors, I like it!

  3. I love this…it looks so fresh and mascarpone cheese makes it even more special!!

  4. I love tomato soup, and it is definitely a superb variation, Thank you for sharing!

  5. I love tomato soup in the fall and the addition of mascarpone would be awesome!

  6. what a delicious addition to tomato soup – i can only imagine that it is just the perfect velvety texture!

  7. Hhhmmmmm, I love the mascarpone addition! I love having soup in the fall and winter, but my hubby always needs something besides just soup, especially if the soup is blended. That means more work for me. I’ll keep trying though!

  8. Gorgeous soup, Lindsay. I love homemade tomato soup!

  9. Fresh tomato soup is my favorite comfort food (with a grilled cheese) and the addition of mascapone sounds wonderful, XOXO

  10. This sounds great! I normally don’t love tomato soup due to the acidity. But I think the marscapone cheese will offset the tomatoes and will be gentler on the stomach (and taste really yummy!)

  11. Hmmm…never thought of adding mascarpone to this one, but I’m sure it makes the soup fulls of flavors. I hear you – not a fan of tomato.

  12. I love tomato soup in all forms – even the Campbell’s stuff, but this with the mascarpone cheese?! That just sounds amazing.

  13. Your story about disliking tomatoes, especially a can of tomato soup, as a child…well, I felt the same way. I’ve come to love tomatoes, but am only this year retesting my feelings towards tomato soup. So you weren’t the only kid out there, and hopefully I can join you in liking tomato soup!

  14. I hate tomatoes, but tomato soup is the bomb! Thanks for the recipe. :)

    -Lindsey

  15. I’m now addicted to mascarpone cheese after I learnt how to make it at home – must try this!

  16. I’m a big believer that tomato soup should be creamy. This looks perfect!

  17. I’m sensing a kindred spirit here… had to go back and check my own blog. See below!

    http://rocknrollgourmet.blogspot.com/2011/10/tomato-soup-comfort.html

  18. Looks amazing- I think I need to go have dinner!

  19. I never made tomato soup with mascarpone. I like the idea of it, gonna have to try it!

  20. I’ve never made a soup with mascarpone either. Will have to try it. Your photo looks delicious!

  21. I have been obsessed with tomato soup lately. This looks like a must try.

  22. Delicious! I love tomato soup and I’ve never tried it with mascarpone. This sounds so elegant and tasty!

  23. Creamy and comforting tomato soup?! Sign me up!

  24. It’s hard to beat a big bowl of tomato soup in the fall – delicious!

  25. Fresh tomato soup is both mine and Joanne’s go to comfort soup. Mascarpone cheese just took it to a new level of awesome.

  26. Fresh tomato soup is one of the best things about early fall. This sounds so good!

  27. Adding mascarpone is genius! Can’t wait to try this soon.

  28. mmm this looks just lovely! it will be the perfect dish for these colder days thanks for sharing this great recipe!

  29. I bet the mascarpone makes this soup so delicious!

  30. This is definitely being added to my fall recipe must try list! I love tomato soup!!! There is just something so comforting about it!

  31. Hi Lindsey,
    How much would you suggest reducing the herbs by if you had to resort to dried? Thanks for the great recipe.

  32. After 54 years, started to cook. Loving it. Was my first recipe after a browse for tomato soup. Everybody loved it. Made it several times.

    The site is superb, BTW.

    Cheers, Anthony

  33. Wonderful! It’s snowing a bit here and now I have a nice warm bowl of the BEST tomato soup. . . grilled cheese on the way! Thanks for such a simple, flavorful recipe.

    I used a can of San Marzano tomatoes and it was excellent. I can’t wait for tomato season to try it fresh!

  34. I’m just about to try out this recipe but since I don’t have white wine on hand, what’s a good substitute? Water? Stock cube? Thanks a lot!

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