Thursday, March 14, 2013

Roasted Tomato Soup

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Now back to the tomato soup. This recipe is one of my all-time favorites and is the very definition of comfort food. It was inspired by Ina Garten's recipe, but is a slightly healthier version. I make this tomato soup every couple of weeks and almost always have a container of it in the freezer for lazy nights. The most amazing thing about this soup is how smooth it gets without adding butter or cream. Simply pureeing the ingredients gives you depth of flavor and a surprising creamy consistency. It's not only delicious, but healthy and filling.   

  • To make the tomato soup you will need:
  • 3 lbs fresh tomatoes-either plum, roma, or tomatoes on the vine
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 10-12 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 28 oz can plum tomatoes
  • 4 cups of fresh basil
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 quart chicken or vegetable stock

  • Before you start your prep, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Then, line a baking sheet with foil. Cut the tomatoes into quarters. In a large bowl, toss the tomatoes with 1/4 cup of  olive oil, salt and pepper, and half of the cloves of chopped garlic. 

Then pour the mixture of tomatoes and garlic onto a baking sheet and roast  in the oven for 30 minutes. 

While your tomatoes are roasting, chop 1/2 of a small yellow onion into small pieces.  Mince the remainder of your garlic cloves.

Then, in a large soup pot add 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Saute the onions until they become soft and translucent. Then add the second half of the chopped garlic and the red pepper flakes and saute for another 2-3 minutes. Next, add the canned tomatoes, chopped basil, thyme, and stock into the pot and bring it up to a boil.

At this point your tomatos should be done roasting. Make sure to give them the full 30 minutes then pull the roasted tomatoes out of the oven. They should be a little wrinkled around the edges and completely soft.
Add the roasted tomatoes and the liquid on baking sheet into the soup pot. Bring the soup back up to a boil, then lower to a simmer. Simmer uncovered for 45 minutes.

After 45 minutes take the pot off the heat and let it cool for a few minutes. The next step is to puree the soup. If you have an immersion blender, puree the soup right in the pot. 

If you have a regular blender, let the soup cool a little, fill the blender half way with the soup, and then puree it in small batches. The hot soup expands in the blender, so if you fill it all the way, you risk it exploding and splashing all over you and your kitchen. I am slightly embarrassed to admit I learned this the hard way! With the immersion blender, you'll be able to see the soup get creamy right in the pot. 

This soup is great on its own, but over the years I've served it with all sorts of additions: grated cheese, croutons, fresh bread, and pesto stirred in. Feel free to personalize it with your own toppings! 

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