It’s cold. It’s raining. And right about now you’re wishing the raincoat you forgot at home could circumvent this fall bluster. Needless to say, tonight you’re going to need some quick comfort – something deeply nourishing and delicious. Something classic, that uses pantry staples, but also makes use of fresh, seasonal ingredients. Something warming, that rings all the bells and wipes away any memory of chill or discomfort. That something is this farmhouse tomato soup with lentil cream.
In the cool, maritime climate of the Pacific Northwest, October is an annual reminder that sweet, juicy tomatoes should be purchased or picked before the first frost comes. With clouds scuttling across the autumn sky and days fading into windy and grey, I knew making haste to my farmhouse tomato crop was just the thing to do. Basket in hand, San Marzanos, cherry and yellow pear tomatoes twisted easily off the vine—which happily meant that dreams of this farmhouse tomato soup with lentil cream were well within reach.
Tomato soup reminds me of childhoodmemories, family, warmth, and comfort. Tomato soup’s savory fragrance would greet me as I opened the door after an afternoon playing in the rain or rolling around in the autumn leaves. Removing my mud clogged boots and rain-soaked socks, my sister and I were eager to sit down at our kitchen counter to enjoy a big bowl of tomato soup made by my mother or father. One spoonful made me feel cozy, lazy, safe and warm. This farmhouse tomato soup is a spin on a childhood classic and brings me right back to those moments—which is what makes this recipe so near and dear.
While food memories season the narrative of our lives, red pepper flakes, and oregano season a flavorful base of carrots, onion, and garlic in this tomato soup. And then there’s the fresh tomatoes (which can be sourced at your local grocer), plus canned San Marzanos. (Canned San Marzano tomatoes make for an excellent pantry staple. I always keep a can or two on hand.) All of this simmers together for about 35 minutes to create a lovely, creamy and deeply flavorful soup.
Then there’s the modern twist on an old-fashioned favorite – the addition of lentil cream! Instead of using traditional cream to elevate the flavor, I’ve opted for a protein, iron, folate, and fiber-packed alternative. This nutritionally sound cream is made from Puy lentils, soaked sunflower seeds, and fresh herbs. The lentil cream gets swirled in at the end and adds so much flavor and extra creaminess.
At times we all need a little comfort in our lives. Whether it’s enjoying classic dishes from our childhood or warming up from a rain-soaked afternoon, this farmhouse tomato soup with lentil cream is sure to do the trick.
3 tbsp sunflower seeds, soaked for at least 1 hour
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp brown rice vinegar
3 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp warm water
1/3 cup fresh basil
1/3 cup microgreens (can substitute parsley here)
sea salt to taste
Farmhouse Tomato Soup
In a large stock pot, heat the olive oil. Add the yellow onion and sauté until translucent and soft. Add the smashed garlic, carrots, oregano and red pepper flakes. Sauté for 3-5 minutes until fragrant.
Add in the fresh and canned tomatoes, along with the water.
Bring the soup to a simmer (for about 5 minutes) and add the salt.
Reduce heat to a low boil and simmer for an additional 25 minutes.
Turn the heat off and use an immersion blender to blend the tomato soup until smooth and creamy.
Serve warm with a swirl of lentil cream and fresh herbs.
Add all of the lentil cream ingredients to a high-speed blender or food processor and whirl away until smooth and creamy.
Add sea salt to taste.
If you do not have an immersion blender, carefully transfer the soup to a high-speed blender in batches and puree until smooth. Be very careful of hot soup! It’s best to the let soup cool down a bit before doing this. For the lentil cream – feel free to get creative with the herbs! I’ve also made a version with dill, parsley, and chives. Adjust the herbs to your liking and/or to what you might have on hand!