fresh tomato recipe

Creamy Fresh Tomato Soup

Creamy Fresh Tomato Soup

Tomatoes are in season and I am loving it.  I have been enjoying tomato sandwiches, tomato salad and fresh tomato sauce.

This is a great recipe for some of those tomatoes. A simple soup, with lots of flavor, it is a favorite of mine. So much better than the canned tomato soup of my childhood.

I enjoy it served hot, but this soup can also be served cold. On a  hot day, this soup, served chilled, is a wonderful change from a salad with dinner.

I prefer to use fresh tomatoes, but I have used my home canned tomatoes, in a pinch.

If you want a stronger tomato flavor- use a couple extra tomatoes.

Creamy Fresh Tomato Soup

 3 medium-sized ripe tomatoes

1 small onion, chopped fine

1 rib celery, chopped fine

1/4 t. ground cloves

1 small bay leaf

3 T. butter

3 T. flour

1 t. salt

3 c. milk or half and half

Peel and chop tomatoes. Place tomatoes in saucepan with onion, celery, cloves and bay leaf. Bring mixture to a boil; reduce heat and cover, simmering 15 minutes. Melt butter in a large saucepan then stir in flour and salt. Cook mixture until bubbly. Add milk and cook until thickened, stirring constantly. Remove bay leaf. Puree tomato mixture through a strainer, food mill or in a blender or processor. Add to milk mixture and heat through. Serves 6.

Freezer Salsa

tomatoesI talk a lot about canning tomatoes this time of year, but I get that canning isn’t for everyone. This recipe is an easy way to “put up” some of the summer’s bounty of fresh tomatoes.  I really like the way this salsa holds up to freezing. The secret is to thicken it with Clear Gel or cornstarch before freezing. It keeps the salsa from getting watery after thawing. Feel free to spice it up to the heat level you prefer. I often add more hot sauce after thawing, depending on who is going to be eating it.


Freezer Salsa


12 lbs. tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped

1 T. olive oil

4 large onions, chopped

4-5 cloves garlic, minced

4-5 chopped sweet red, yellow or green peppers

1-2 T. cumin, or to taste

1 T. chili powder

salt to taste

chopped hot peppers to taste, or hot pepper flakes or hot sauce

1 1/2 c. chopped fresh cilantro

1/4-1/2 c. Clear-gel* or corn starch


Place oil in heavy saucepan and add onion, cooking until onions are translucent. Add tomatoes and garlic and cook until tomatoes are softened, about 20-30 minutes. Add peppers and seasonings and cook until peppers just start to soften. Adjust seasonings. Combine Clear-Gel with a little water or tomato juice and pour into simmering salsa until mixture thickens. Don’t add all at once because the amount of moisture in your vegetables may vary. Mixture will thicken as it cools. Cool salsa and divide among freezer containers. Label and freeze. This is NOT a recipe that is safe for canning.  Makes about 12-16 cups. Great with chips, tacos and quesadillas. I actually like it served over pasta, too.

*Clear Gel is modified cornstarch, available online and in some specialty food markets. It is often found in stores in Amish communities.

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