Too many green tomatoes calls for an easy and delicious Green Tomato Soup! We treat the tomatoes to a nice, long sauté with the onions to help reduce their tartness, while giving a deep caramelized flavor that goes perfect with grilled cheese, or all by itself! Then we add roasted garlic, because... MMMMM. We finish it off with some homemade croutons, designed to complement, for Fall soup perfection. 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 (and healthier) sometimes. Plus, let's be honest, you have more than enough green tomatoes for BOTH fried green tomatoes and this green tomato soup recipe, right?! That's why I created it in the first place. Need more uses for green tomatoes? Get my Top 5 Healthy Ways to Use Green Tomatoes list at the bottom of this post!
Are green tomatoes poisonous?
A quick google search of the question will yield you millions of results, and a great many saying that green tomatoes are poisonous. But the claim is lacking solid evidence.
Green tomatoes do contain some compounds that can be toxic in high amounts. These compounds are called solanine and tomatine. They are also present in other foods we consider staples, like potatoes and eggplant. They lend a bitter taste to the fruit, and the compounds do decrease in concentration as the fruits ripen. Studies have found that the content of toxic compounds in tomatoes are too low at any stage of ripeness to cause problems, however (1).
It's worth noting, too, that some people do seem to exhibit a sensitivity to tomatoes, more so in their unripe stages. If you find that you experience headaches, nausea, or any other gastrointestinal symptoms after eating green tomatoes (or any food for that matter), it's probably wise to eat it very moderately, or avoid it altogether.
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.
Can you freeze green tomatoes?
You sure can! Freezing is a great way to preserve green tomatoes! Simple slice or quarter the washed green tomatoes, and arrange the on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Pop them in the freezer until they are solid. Then transfer them to a zipper freezer bag, and store in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Tips and Substitutions
Yep! If you've got a ton of red tomatoes, substitute them for a more classic tomato soup! Just leave out the baking soda.
Don't skip it. Green tomatoes are very tart, and the baking soda works to neutralize some of the acid in the tomatoes and mellow it out. Unless you like a really tart soup - some people do!
Try using kale instead of spinach. It won't blend up as well if you aren't using a high speed blender.
Top 5 Healthy Ways to Use Green Tomatoes
Here it is! I promised you some great healthy uses for green tomatoes - that aren't fried! Click the button below.
For more delicious and heart healthy soup recipes, check out the Soup Archive!
If you make this Green Tomato Soup with Roasted Garlic, let me know in the comments!
Green Tomato Soup with Roasted Garlic
- 2 head of Garlic
- 1 tablespoon Olive oil
- 2 lbs Green Tomatoes, chopped large
- 2 cup Homemade Vegetable Broth
- ½ teaspoon Baking Soda
- 2 medium Onions, chopped
- Pinch of Salt and Freshly ground Black Pepper
- 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1 teaspoon Dried Thyme
- 2 cups Spinach
- 4 slices stale Whole Wheat Bread
- 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
- ½ teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar
- ½ teaspoon 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 ½ tablespoon 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 tablespoon 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.