Despite a first kiss of frost, there are still plenty of tomatoes kicking around! Hurry up and make a double batch of this easy soup and freeze it for a mid-winter’s treat. Or eat it all hot from the pot, which is a good plan too. I make this soup all season long by roasting a variety of tomatoes with garlic and onions as I pick them, stashing them in the fridge, then at week’s end simmering it all into a batch of soup. You could freeze batches of roasted tomatoes as well, for that mid-winter’s treat mentioned above.
It’s always great fun to enjoy tomato soup with a grilled cheese sandwich, so if that’s what you’re in the mood for—back-to-school and chilly nights and such—skip the croutons and cream and grill away with cheese and butter. Slide a slice of tomato or a smear of tomato jam into the middle of the sandwich for a vertically integrated tomato explosion. Killer.
I left the cream in the version pictured, then fried up socca (chickpea pancakes) to eat as a warm (gluten-free) flatbread with my soup. Bits of crispy sage, a sprinkle of garlic scape salt, lots of freshly ground black pepper, and an extra drizzle of olive oil made for a fast treat, one of my very favorites.
Roasted Tomato Soup
Adapted a bit from a recipe by Tyler Florence via The Food Network
2 1/2 lbs. fresh tomatoes (mix of heirlooms, cherry, vine & plum)
6 cloves garlic, peeled
2 small yellow onions, sliced
1/2 c. extra-virgin olive oil
salt & freshly ground black pepper
1 quart chicken stock
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
2 bay leaves
4 Tbsp. butter
1/2 c. chopped basil leaves
3/4 c. heavy cream, optional
cubes of crusty bread fried in olive oil, lightly salted, for garnish
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Wash, core, and cut the tomatoes into halves. Spread the tomatoes, garlic cloves, and onions onto a parchment paper-lined baking tray. Drizzle with 1/2 cup of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 20 to 30 minutes, or until caramelized.
Remove roasted tomatoes, garlic, and onion from the oven and transfer to a large stock pot. Add 3/4 of the chicken stock, brown sugar, vinegar, bay leaves, and butter. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until liquid has reduced by a third.
Wash and dry basil leaves, if using, and add to the pot. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup until smooth. Return soup to low heat, add cream, and adjust consistency with remaining chicken stock, if necessary. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve hot with fried croutons, if using.