Last Updated on September 19, 2021
Skip straight to my recipe for roasted green tomato soup
This year my tomato crop has been heavily blighted. Last week I decided the only course of action was to uproot the majority of the plants lining the back of the garden and dispose of them. That has left me with my two late starters which, luckily, were planted well away from the main crop. And, with kilos of green tomatoes, mostly rather small and definitely unripe. In a normal year, I can ripen the end part of my tomato crop easily and rather enjoy having homegrown tomatoes through to October. Blighted tomatoes though, if they do ripen at all, are unlikely to take on a deep glossy red colour. Instead, they turn brown and wrinkly – not something you’d want to eat. That said, well-cooked, my green tomatoes are perfectly edible. I tried roasting them first, with some onions and olive oil and while they were a little bitter and acidic, there was a real fresh tomato taste. So, how to use them up. While chutney was the obvious solution if I’m honest after pulling up all the plants I was in no mood to start making preserves. Instead, a soup based on green tomatoes seemed the obvious solution – especially as the weather right now is distinctly wintery.
As mentioned, I started by halving and quartering the larger of the green tomatoes and my one ‘starting to ripen’ red one. To help give a bit of texture I added in a courgette, chopped up into chunks. I spread the lot out over a couple of baking sheets with garlic and onion slices, sprinkled well with salt and pepper and put the whole lot in the oven for 45 minutes, checking and turning them occasionally.
I was left with trays of ed green tomatoes, just starting to caramelise at the edges, that were still quite acidic.
To make up into a soup, I used a litre of hot bouillon and tipped the tomato mixture in to cook for a further 10 minutes. At that point, for the sake of sweetness, I added in a can of chopped tomatoes and adjusted the seasoning. The mix cooked for 10 minutes before I blitzed it to a chunky soup.
The end result, although I’ve called it green tomato soup, is of course normal ripe tomato colour. Now, one of the joys of a homemade tomato crop for me is being able to make a classic roasted tomato soup – and this year I thought I’d have to miss out. But, this frugal way to use up my green tomatoes seems to have worked well. The soup has all the tang of fresh tomato, although the majority of what was used in there simply wouldn’t have worked without cooking. The canned tomatoes add colour and sweetness but don’t obscure the scent and flavour of fresh tomatoes. And, of course, it’s a truly frugal way to use a green tomato glut.
It works best for me warm, with fresh soft green herbs. Dill, basil or chives are all good. It’s also a little like gazpacho if you choose to enjoy it cold. Now, if only we had a little sunshine I might just do that!
If, like me, you have a glut of tomatoes that will never ripen, here’s my recipe for green tomato soup in a printable format. Meanwhile, if you are looking for a more substantial soup, why not try our spicy tomato and lentil soup. The protein and fibre content of the lentils will help keep you full all day.
Green Tomato Soup with Dill
- 1 medium onion
- 1 kg tomatoes green or a mix of green and red - chopped into halves or quarters
- 1 can chopped tomatoes
- 1 courgette chopped into chunks
- 6 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 litre bouillon I used marigold made up according to the pack
- salt and pepper
- fresh dill, oregano, chives or tarragon
- Pre-heat the oven to 170c
- Chop the tomatoes so that you have even sized pieces
- Peel and chop the onion into wedges
- Peel the garlic
- Chop the courgette into chunks
- Spread out everything on baking trays
- Season with salt and pepper and drizzle over the olive oil
- Put the vegetables in the oven and cook for about 40 minutes, turning every 20 minutes. The onions should be soft at this point and all the vegetables should be starting to caramelise
- Make up the bouillon and pour into a large stockpot
- When the tomatoes and vegetables are cooked tip them into the stockpot
- Bring the mixture to the boil and cook for 10 minutes
- Add a can of chopped tomatoes, check and adjust the seasoning
- Cook for a further 10 minutes
- Blitz with a hand blender so that you have a thick chunky soup
- Taste and adjust the seasoning
- Serve garnished with fresh herbs of your choice and with yoghurt if you prefer a softer flavour profile