Roasted Tomato Basil Soup
Sundays are great soup days. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a soupy kind of gal, but I have never been a fan of tomato soup, particularly Campbell’s tomato soup — its featureless, overly creamy, kind of thin broth was never really my thing, and so I assumed I just didn’t like tomato soup at all. Recently, when my sister was in town, we had lunch at Jam ‘n Java, a little soup and sandwich place in Arlington Center. They only had tomato basil soup, so I passed, but Cecilia got it. I tried a spoonful…and then another…and then another, and I realized that I was hooked. The delicious aroma of the basil, plus the chunkiness of the fresh tomatoes made me a convert. I’m not about to crack open a can of Campbell’s any time soon, but I will certainly make this soup again.
I knew that I could EASILY make a version of this soup, and I quickly found an easy recipe, courtesy of Ina Garten. I’m not an avid watcher of The Barefoot Contessa, but I knew that with Ina’s recipe, I couldn’t go wrong. We diverged a bit from her recipe, adding a smidge pesto and a bit of Parmesan cheese for the final product, but you can feel free to do whatever you want to make this tomato soup your own.
Roasted Tomato and Basil Soup (adapted from The Barefoot Contessa‘s recipe)
- 3 lbs. plum tomatoes, cut in half
- 1/4 c. plus 2 tbsp. good olive oil
- 1 tbsp. kosher salt
- 1 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
- 2 c. chopped yellow onions (about 2 onions)
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 28-oz. canned plum tomatoes, with their juice
- 4 c. fresh basil leaves, packed
- 1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
- 1 quart chicken stock or water (or vegetable broth)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar (for the very end)
- Possible garnishes: pesto, Parmesan cheese, cream, etc. Whatever your heart desires!
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Toss together the tomatoes, 1/4 cup olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread the tomatoes in 1 layer on the baking sheet and roast for 45 minutes.
2. In an 8 quart stockpot over medium heat, saute the onions and garlic with 2 tbsp. of olive oil, butter and red pepper flakes for 10 minutes, until the onions start to brown. Add the canned tomatoes, basil, thyme and chicken stock. Add the oven-roasted tomatoes, including the liquid on the baking sheet. Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for at least 40 minutes, though I did it for the better part of the day.
3. Before serving, blend with an immersion (stick) blender, until soup is at desired consistency. Add balsamic vinegar, and warm through for an additional 5-10 minutes.
4. Serve with optional garnishes and yummy bread! This is a great recipe for a cool fall evening.