OK – I know my last post was about tomatoes but I just couldn’t resist. I am getting so many sweet friends from my own plants and then there are the ones that I can’t pass up from the farmers market so, here’s another recipe with tomatoes being the star of the show.
A couple of years ago I went on a quest to find a great tomato soup recipe. This was a bit more of a task than I expected. At this point, I can’t remember how many pots of soup I made and of course, I had my family taste each one. Some were too bland, some were too spicy and some, well, were just awful. I kinda felt like Goldilocks….searching for one that tasted “just right.” Finally, my boys had had enough….”just make up your own recipe, for Pete’s sake!” So, after a few more tries, I found just the right fit. I have taken this soup to many luncheons and covered dish events and it always gets rave reviews. I put it in a crock pot to keep warm and away we go. You may be thinking…tomato soup in summer? Well, I like it chilled with a little dollop of sour cream and fresh basil. You can also partially make the soup and freeze it for the cooler months to come -more about that later. There’s the story….let’s get cookin’…
- 2 1/2 lbs of tomatoes – a blend of several different kinds work best. I use fresh, Roma, and grape tomatoes
- 1 medium to large red onion, sliced
- 6-8 cloves of garlic, peeled
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 2 bay leaves, 3 if small
- 2 cups of chicken stock
- Pinch of cayanne pepper
- 3 T. butter
- 1 cup of half and half
- fresh basil
|Hunter the Helper!|
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash and quarter the tomatoes. Take out seeds. If using cherry tomatoes, you can just leave them whole. Put tomatoes, onion and garlic on baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, coating well. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Roast in oven for approximately 30 minutes or until you see the tomatoes start to caramelize. Remove from oven and place into a stock pot.
Add the chicken stock, bay leaves, cayanne pepper and butter. Bring to a boil and reduce the liquid by about 1/3. Puree the soup until smooth using an immersion blender (the boat motor as the boys call it) or a blender. ***If you plan on making this soup for future use, cool and put into airtight containers for freezing. When ready to use, thaw the soup and pick up the recipe where you left off.*** Add half and half and return to a low simmer. At this point -stop and taste! Adjust the salt and pepper. Serve with fresh basil – Enjoy!!
The real key to this soup is the roasting. Make sure that you caramelize the tomatoes, onions and garlic so that the intensity of their flavors come out. One more thing – No, you cannot use skim or 2% milk! You are only using a cup and will lose the richness of the soup if you cut corners – just saying. I most often make a double batch to use throughout the week for lunch and as an after school snack.