roasted tomato soup

Make this with Summer ripe tomatoes, or pluck off the green tomatoes before the weather turns foul and let them ripen in a basket on your kitchen table, or in a straw lined box in the cool cellar. Even store bought tomatoes are good enough for this soup. The secret is in the roasting.

roasted tomato soup
tomatoes, enough to fill a baking sheet
olive oil
balsamic vinegar
honey or agave
salt, pepper
1/2 to a full head of garlic, cloves peeled

1 onion
olive oil or butter
herbs, basil, thyme, etc, stems removed
pinch of crushed red pepper, optional

stock
milk or cream

sweet corn, fresh herbs and crushed pepper for garnish

Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

Slice the tomatoes in half or into smaller pieces (I used an immense amount of cherry tomatoes). Smash and undress the garlic cloves. Place onto a baking sheet with raised sides. Drizzle some olive oil, a Tablespoon or so balsamic vinegar, some honey, and sprinkle some salt and pepper on top. Mix the tomatoes around ensuring they are evenly coated.

Roast in the preheated oven until fragrant and soft, depending on the size of the tomatoes, about 20 – 25 minutes. Remove from the oven, making sure not to spill any juice. Set aside a few spoonfuls of the tomatoes, for garnish.

Chop the onion, saute in a bit of olive oil in a stock pot on the stove top until the onion is just about soft. Add the herbs and red pepper if you want the heat, cooking until the onion is soft and the herbs and red pepper are fragrant. Add the roasted tomatoes and a couple cups of stock to the onions.

With an immersion blender (or with a standing blender in batches), blend the mixture until smooth. Return to the stock pot, bring to a low boil, add cream and more stock until you attain your desired creaminess and consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Garnish the soup with a chutney made with the reserved roasted tomatoes, some fresh corn cut off the cob, and fresh herbs. Drizzle a little olive oil over the top, and sprinkle some pecorino romano to finish. Serve with grilled crusty bread.

**You can get fancy with alterations, adding favorite spices, using leeks instead of onion, adding a baked or boiled potato or two, playing with different herbs (try tarragon instead of basil and add a teaspoon of curry powder), smearing in some thinned sour cream, or substituting the milk with sour cream or yogurt, adding cooked pasta or grains, serving it alongside a cheesy grilled sandwich, the possibilities are as diverse as your imagination and preference.

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