Not too long ago Matt was lamenting that he wished it was fall or winter because he missed the soups & stews we ate during the colder weather. (We'll see if he still feels like that come a cold MN January day.) One of his favorites is homemade tomato soup served with grilled cheese sandwiches, really who doesn't like this comfort meal. So, despite the fact the thermometer outside read 90, I decided to turn on the AC & cook him up a pot of soup.
Really making tomato soup makes sense this time of year since beautiful ripe tomatoes are available at the farmer's market & the herbs are fresh in the garden. I had hoped to make this soup with either some green or orange heirloom tomatoes but none were to be found at the market. I wonder with our chilly, wet spring if they are running a little later this year? Anyway, I settled on on Romas instead. I think I'll make more soup soon to freeze while the tomatoes are in season so maybe I can find heirlooms then.
The tomatoes, onions & garlic for this soup are roasted first in the oven giving the soup a very mellow flavor. I added fresh basil, rosemary & thyme to the soup after the vegetables had been puréed. The green flecks look really pretty floating in the soup but next time I think I'll purée them along with everything else, I found their texture a little distracting. We like our tomato soup quite thick but if you prefer it a little thinner just add more chicken broth.
Roasted Tomato Soup
2 lbs Roma tomatoes, halved & seeded
6 cloves of garlic, peeled
2 yellow onions, quartered
2 T olive oil
salt & pepper
2 T fresh basil, chopped
1 T fresh thyme, chopped
1 T fresh rosemary, chopped
1 c chicken broth
1 c red wine
1/2 c cream or half & half
2 T tomato paste
2 t lemon juice
Preheat oven to 400 F.
Put the tomatoes, onion & garlic in a large baking pan. Coat with the olive oil & season with salt & pepper. Try to arrange the tomatoes so the cut sides are up.
Roast for 45 - 60 minutes until everything is soft & starting to brown. Allow to cool slightly.
Put the tomatoes, onions, garlic, fresh herbs & any liquid in the roasting panin a blender & purée until smooth. I like to add a little at a time instead of doing them all at once.
Put purée into a large soup pot and add remaining ingredients. Allow to simmer for about 15 minutes before serving. Salt & pepper to taste.
Makes 4 big servings.