This creamy tomato cheddar soup will chase away your deepest chill and brighten your day. Its key secret ingredient are the woodsy asparagus ends you normally throw away!
Surprisingly, tough fibrous asparagus ends and onion make up the soup base. If your family is like mine and enjoys braised or roasted asparagus tips, you might find yourself throwing away a good 4-5 inches of the end of the woodsy inedible stalk.
Now you don’t have to. Save those fibrous stems (white ends and all), throw them into a zip lock and freeze them. The asparagus/onion combination rounds the soup out nicely and supports the acidity of the tomato.
Yeah, and the near pound of cheese, 1/2 pound of butter, and 2 cups of heavy cream also add their support as well. I’m just sayin’.
How to make Tomato Cheddar Soup
The only “special” pieces of equipment you need for this recipe are a strainer and a blender or immersion blender.
- Melt 2 sticks (8 ounces) of unsalted butter in a large pot.
- Sauté 9 ounces of diced onion and 2 1/2 pounds of chopped asparagus woody ends in the melted butter for 10 minutes over medium high heat.
- Lower heat to medium low and stir in 8 ounces of flour. Cook the flour with the vegetables for 4 minutes to cook off the pasty flour taste.
- Pour in 12 cups of hot vegetable or chicken broth.
- Increase heat and stir with a wooden spoon, scraping the bottom of the pan so the flour doesn’t settle and burn. Continue to stir until the soup starts to boil and thicken. Turn the heat off.
- With an immersion blender, blend on high until the soup is fairly smooth.
- Run the soup through a strainer to remove the woodsy fiber asparagus bits.
- Add the soup back to the pot and turn the heat and bring to a simmer.
- Add tomatoes (4 cans of 14 oz diced). The fire roasted variety are particularly nice if you can find them.
- Remove from heat and stir in 1 pound of shredded or grated cheddar cheese.
- Hit the soup with the immersion blender again on high until it is very smooth and the cheese is melted.
- Stir in 12 ounces heavy cream and 2 teaspoons kosher salt. Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed.
- Ladle into bowls and garnish with any of the following: basil (or pesto) oil, a small amount of pesto, basil leaves, and/or croutons.
Frazer’s Restaurant, St. Louis
If you have any tomato plants I hope you’re able to pick them faster than the critters can get to them. If you have more than you need, this tomato cheddar soup is a must-try and a nod to one of our favorite St. Louis Soulard haunts, Frazer’s Restaurant.
Personally, I use Muir Glen’s fire roasted diced canned tomatoes and save my fresh ones for towering Caprese salads… heavy on on the fresh mozzarella. Oh yum.
This is a wonderful recipe that truly captures the taste of summer. Make it now with fresh tomatoes from the market or your garden, and freeze it.
Put a grilled cheese sandwich that’s all crunchy golden brown and buttery with this soup and you’ve got yourself a real end of the summer treat you can enjoy all winter long!
Tomato Cheddar Soup
A blend of asparagus, tomato, and cheddar goodness! A super rich and most satisfying way to enjoy the end of the season tomato harvest.
- 2 1/2 pounds asparagus ends
- 9 ounces onion diced
- 8 ounces butter unsalted
- 8 ounces flour
- 12 cups chicken stock
- 4 cans canned tomatoes diced (fire roasted Muir Glen), 14 ounce cans
- 1 pound cheddar cheese grated
- 12 fluid ounces heavy cream
- 2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 6 leaves basil julienned
- more salt and pepper to taste
- basil oil optional drizzle
- pesto optional garnish
Melt the butter in the large soup pot. Dice asparagus ends and sauté with diced onions in the hot butter, approximately 10 minutes. Heat stock in smaller pot or electric tea kettle.
When asparagus and onions are soft, add flour and cook 4 minutes stirring constantly so the flour doesn’t stick or burn.Slowly stir in heated stock into flour and vegetables 2 cups at time. Bring to a boil and simmer for 40 minutes. Turn off heat and let cool slightly. Puree with emersion blender and strain with sieve or food mill.
Bring puree back to a boil, add diced tomatoes, and simmer for 10 minutes. Add cheddar cheese, heavy cream, and kosher salt. Garnish with julienned basil, a drizzle of basil oil and/or 1/8 teaspoon pesto.
Recipe credit: Frazer’s Restaurant & Lounge
*If you don’t have a hand emersion blender, you can use a blender (like a Ninja) that has locking capabilities. If your blender doesn’t lock and your soup is hot, trust me, you will be cleaning soup off your ceiling, cabinets, and walls forever.