Too many green tomatoes calls for this easy and delicious Roasted Garlic Green Tomato Soup! We treat the tomatoes to a nice, long sauté with the onions to help reduce their tart qualities, while giving them a deep caramelized flavor that goes perfect with grilled cheese, or all by itself! We finished it off with some homemade croutons, designed to complement the flavors in the soup. This soup will keep well in the refrigerator for about 5-7 days, or you can freeze it for up to 6 months!
It’s a “problem” that pops up around this time every year if you grow tomatoes, isn’t it? The weather changing means most anything growing outside needs harvested, ripe or not! But if your lifestyle is a heart healthy one, you probably want something other than the always popular Fried Green Tomatoes. Not that we don’t love a good fried green tomato! We just want something a little different (an healthier) sometimes. Plus, let’s be honest, you have more than enough green tomatoes for BOTH fried green tomatoes and this recipe, right?! That’s why I created this soup in the first place. Need more ideas for green tomatoes? Get my Top 5 Healthy Ways to Use Green Tomatoes list at the bottom of this post!
Are green tomatoes the same as tomatillos?
They certainly look similar, don’t they? And green tomatoes and tomatillos even taste similar. But they aren’t the same. While both members of the same family, tomatillos have a sort of bright, lemony flavor, and are typically used in their green, unripe state. They have the most flavor that way, although they will ripen to yellow, orange, or purple. Tomatillos also grow in a papery husk that needs to be removed, and have a sticky film on them that should be rinsed off.
Green tomatoes, on the other hand, are unripe red tomatoes. They have a lot less flavor than their red state, and are more bitter. They are quite firm, and will soften up when they are cooked.
So can you use green tomatoes instead of tomatillos? Yep. The dish won’t taste exactly the same, and sometimes won’t have the same texture, but you can definitely use green tomatoes in recipes that call for tomatillos! Try my Salsa Verde with green tomatoes!
How to ripen green tomatoes
Maybe you just love red tomatoes! I do, too. Many times, green tomatoes will ripen if given the chance, especially if they’ve already started to turn. I’ve had many simply ripen while waiting for me to use them in a recipe! Ha!
Another tried and true method is to wrap them, individually in newspaper, and put them in a box. Check them every day or so, and once you can see them start to turn colors, you can unwrap them and leave them on the counter to finish.
How to store tomatoes
Is it true you shouldn’t store tomatoes in the refrigerator? Yes, that is true. Tomatoes are best stored on your counter at room temperature, and used quickly.
That said, I do sometimes put my tomatoes in the refrigerator to get a few extra days out the them. They sometimes turn a bit mealy or just generally “off” texturally, but I find that better than throwing a rotting tomato in the trash.
Tips and Substitutions for this Recipe
Don’t have all the ingredients, or wondering what else you can do in this recipe? Consider some of these:
- Use red tomatoes! Yep! If you’ve got a ton of red tomatoes, substitute them for a more classic tomato soup! Just leave out the baking soda.
- Speaking of baking soda – don’t skip it if you use the green tomatoes. It functions to neutralize some of the acid in the tomatoes and mellow it out. Unless you like a really tart soup – some people do!
- Try leeks instead of onions. How sophisticated!
- Use kale instead of spinach. Other greens might work too, but you want something without a lot of its own flavor.
- Use Homemade Vegetable Broth. If you are planning to use store bought broth, get the lowest-sodium version you can find.
Top 5 Healthy Ways to Use Green Tomatoes
Here it is! I promised you some great healthy ways to use green tomatoes – that aren’t fried! Click the button below.
If you make this Roasted Garlic Green Tomato Soup, let me know in the comments!
Roasted Garlic Green Tomato Soup
Too many green tomatoes calls for this easy and delicious Garlic Roasted Green Tomato Soup! Sautéing helps to reduce the tomatoes' tart qualities, while giving them a deep caramelized flavor that goes perfect with grilled cheese, or all by itself!
- 2 head of Garlic
- 1 Tbsp Olive oil
- 2 lbs Green Tomatoes, chopped large
- 2 cup Homemade Vegetable Broth (see notes)
- 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
- 2 medium Onions, chopped
- Pinch of Salt and Freshly ground Black Pepper
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 tsp Dried Thyme
- 2 cups Spinach
- 4 slices stale Whole Wheat Bread
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
- ½ tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
- ½ tsp Italian Seasoning
Roast the Garlic
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Remove outer paper of the heads of garlic, allowing them to still stay together. Cut the tops off the heads, exposing the cloves.
Place each head on a small square of foil, and drizzle with about 1/2 Tbsp of oil each.
Wrap the heads in the foil, and place in the oven for 30 minutes.
Remove from the oven, and unwrap the heads to allow them to cool.
Make the Croutons
While the garlic is roasting, cut the crusts off the bread (discard), and cut the bread into small cubes. Combine the oil, vinegar, and seasoning, and toss with bread cubes.
Bake at 400 degrees F for about 7-10 minutes. Watch closely to prevent burning.
Prepare the Tomatoes
Clean and chop the green tomatoes, and place them in a blender with broth.
Blend on high for a minute or so, until well blended.
Add the baking soda and stir. You may see some bubbling – this is normal. Set aside while you cook the onions.
Make the Soup
Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a large skillet, and sauté the onions, salt and pepper, until browned and caramelized, about 15-20 minutes.
Pour the tomato puree from the blender into the skillet with the onion. Simmer for about 10 minutes more. Rinse out your blender.
Pour the tomato/onion mixture back into the blender. Pop the roasted garlic cloves out of their papery coverings and put them in the blender, along with the dried thyme, and spinach.
Puree on high until the soup is very smooth.
Pour into bowls, and garnish with croutons, fresh thyme, and a sprinkle of nutmeg, if desired.
Keeps in the refrigerator for at least 5 days, or the freezer up to 6 months.
Find the Homemade Vegetable Broth recipe here!