Heirlooms are so-called because the seeds have been handed down over generations, and they are open-pollinated, meaning they produce seeds that resemble the parent plant, not always the case with commercial hybrids, which are bred for durability rather than taste. There are 100-plus kinds of heirloom tomatoes growing on vines these days, and most have names and flavors -- Sun Golds, Green Zebras, Black Krims -- as unique as their looks.
Because they're easy to grow, tomatoes are the most common backyard garden crop. There are thousands of varieties, including beefsteak, plum, and small-size cherry, grape, and pear tomatoes; all are at their most flavorful in late summer.
Our collection of easy recipes allow you to have a comforting bowl of homemade soup for lunch, on its own or paired with salads and sandwiches. Choose from classics such as chicken noodle, tomato, minestrone, split pea, vegetable, and tortilla soup.