Roasted tomato soup
Roasted tomatoes, like bacon, makes everything better
Tomato season may be long gone, but there is no tomato a little roasting can't fix. Roasting concentrates the flavors and makes a so-so tomato incredible. Plus roasting tomatoes takes almost zero effort. See my post on roasting tomatoes for all the details. Or my recipes for Slow-roasted tomatoes and Quick-roasted tomatoes. You can roast the tomatoes in advance and store them in the fridge for a day or two until you are ready to make the soup.
This is a simple recipe with endless variations. You can vary the spices to include: oregano, thyme, rosemary, bay leaf, chives or dill. I like a bit of Spanish paprika and crushed red pepper flakes for smokiness and heat. You can add roast pepper or carrots. You can roast the onions and garlic along with the tomatoes. You can substitute leeks and shallots for onions or add a rib or two of celery. You can forgo the cream or substitute yogurt or crème fraîche. You can finish with crème fraîche, goat cheese or a couple shavings of parmesan. Or add homemade croutons or crumple up a crispy slice of bacon or pancetta on top.
This recipe makes a very textured soup because it does not strain out the tomato seeds or skin. If you want a very smooth soup, you can always strain it through a fine mesh. I personally like the rough texture and like to retain all of the nutrients.
Pureed vegetable soups
See my post on how to make pureed vegetable soups. I recommend using a blender to get the best texture, but an emersion blender or food processor will also work. When working with hot soup and a blender be EXTRA CAREFUL. Fill the blender to no more than 60%. Secure the top and firmly hold it down, I mean really lean on it. Start with a medium speed and work your way up to high. This is what happened to me when I was using a rather flimsy blender top at a beach house rental. And I know better!
Garnish with a few thin strips of fresh basil (see my post on how to chiffonade basil), and a goat cheese coin topped with a roasted cherry tomato half.
A big gooey grilled cheese sandwich. Perfection!
Roasted tomato soup
Yield 6 -8 servings
Roasted tomato soup, spiked with crushed red pepper flakes and smokey Spanish paprika is the perfect accompaniment to a gooey grilled cheese sandwich on a cool fall evening.
- 20 roma tomatoes, sliced in half
- 3 large cherry or strawberry tomatoes, sliced in half for garnish
- 6 T olive oil, divided (approximately)
- 8 cloves garlic
- 2 onions
- 5 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 t dried basil
- 1 t Spanish paprika (sweet or hot)
- 1/2 t crushed red pepper flakes
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 3/4 cup cream (optional)
- 5 ounces of goat cheese cut into 6 slices (optional)
- 6 large basil leaves
- Heat oven to 425. Wipe a roasting pan with a little olive oil. ( I splash it on and then use a tomato half to wipe it around.) Place all the tomatoes cut side up. Splash tops with a bit more olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Roast for 30 to 45 minutes, watching carefully so they don't burn. The little cherry tomatoes will take less time, so plan on pulling them out early and set aside. These little tomatoes will be used for garnish.
- While the tomatoes are roasting, whirl the garlic cloves in a food processor. Add the onions and pulse until the onions are coarsely chopped. Do not over process or you will get onion juice.
- Put 2 T olive oil in a dutch oven or other large heavy-bottomed pot on medium high heat. Add onions and garlic mixture and saute until soft and they begin to caramelize, about 20 minutes.
- When tomatoes are done, remove from oven and put in a food processor. Whirl until smooth.
- Add tomatoes, stock and herbs to the onion and garlic mixture. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium low for about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in cream (optional), taste and season again if needed. Remove from heat.
- While soup is cooking, press the slices of goat cheese between a sheet of plastic wrap to create 6 goat cheese coins. Set aside.
- Serve the soup in individual bowls. Scatter a few strips of basil on top of each bowl. Place a goat cheese coin in the center of the soup bowl and top with 1/2 roasted cherry tomato.
THIS SERVES WELL WITH