13 October 2009

Roasted Tomato Soup

The first autumn rain arrived early this morning, and it's been off and on all day. Apparently, it's raining up and down the state, as a friend up north tells me it's "dismal" there, and the weather reports seem to agree. I don't mind the wet weather, because I like the accompanying cold temperatures, and frankly, this part of California doesn't ever seem to get enough rain. It also gives me a good excuse to warm up in the kitchen. Soup is a great way to warm the belly, and I had more than enough heirloom tomatoes on hand to convince me that it was time to finally make roasted tomato soup.

Everyone seems to have their own take on this classic soup, from bare-bones to dolled-up, but here's my very basic version of it. The cooking process is quite simple, involving minimal chopping and effort in general. It would probably pair nicely with a sandwich, but I very much enjoy having a bowl with a hunk of crusty bread or croutons, as I did here.

Roasted Tomato Soup (printable recipe)
Serves 2 to 4

approximately 2 lbs heirloom tomatoes (other varieties also work)
large onion
6 garlic cloves, peeled
2 c vegetable stock
1 T brown sugar (granulated is fine)
olive oil
cayenne pepper (optional)
fresh basil (optional)
prepared croutons (optional)

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut the tomatoes in half (or further for the larger ones, until the pieces are all approximately equal in size) and place them cut side up on a rimmed baking sheet or casserole. Cut the onion into large chunks, similar in size to the tomatoes, and add them to the pan, along with the whole garlic cloves. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast the tomatoes, onion, and garlic until they are browned and slightly carmelized, 20 to 30 minutes. Transfer the roasted items to a pot and add the vegetable stock. Using an immersion blender, blend everything until fairly smooth (some chunks are fine). An upright blender also works fine, but wait for the roasted tomatoes to cool slightly before attempting to blend them. Depending on the juiciness of the tomatoes, you may want to add more vegetable stock to thin out the soup. Once at the desired texture and consistency, put the pot over a medium-low flame and stir in the brown sugar and cayenne. Cook until the soup is hot, stirring occasionally. Serve with croutons (I made mine with stale bread) and garnish with fresh basil and freshly cracked black pepper. Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. Mmmm Mmmm Mmmmm that looks delicious. I love me a bowl of tomato soup.


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