Roasted Tomato Soup

This summer I am featuring some of my favorite garden produce recipes. For the entire list, see the Recipes page or click on the recipes label.

I spent a few days at Grand View Lodge last week for a work conference.  The weather was absolutely perfect, even summer-like, with highs in the mid 80s and yet the peak fall colors left no doubt that it was indeed October.   I came home to find not only had the heat kicked garden production back into gear, but I also had a yard full of leaves to rake.  It was beautiful all around.  Seriously, if I could order up this weather to continue right into March, I would do it in a heartbeat.

The summer-fall juxtaposition of the gorgeous weather we've been having is the perfect set up for this recipe: summer tomatoes (still going strong in October!) slow roasted to bring out the most amazing tomato flavor before cooking down in to a rich, warm, spicy soup that is the perfect comfort food for crisp fall nights. 

This recipe is pretty perfect as it is, so I made only a couple of minor changes. Most notably, I substituted about a quarter of the Roma tomatoes with some heirloom tomatoes, since I had so many of them that needed to be used.  And even though the recipe does not specifically call for removing the skins, I did pull them out with a fork after roasting, as the heirloom tomato skins are bit thicker and I thought it would make an overall better texture for the soup.   

Also worth noting: if you follow the link at the end of this post to the original recipe, there are also instructions for a broiled cheddar topping for this soup.  Since I was cooking up a big double batch  to last us all week (so many tomatoes that needed to be cooked up!), I skipped over this step, but it's definitely something I want to come back to at some point.

Roasted Tomato Soup
3 pounds plum tomatoes, halved or quartered lengthwise
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 large or 4 small cloves garlic, unpeeled
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, finely chopped (1/4 teaspoon dried) 
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
Salt and pepper, to taste

Wrap garlic cloves in a small foil packet and set aside.  Place tomatoes cut side up in a large baking pan (don't worry about peeling the tomatoes, the skins will be easy to pull out after roasting).  Generously sprinkle with sea salt and pepper, then drizzle with olive oil.  Tuck foil packet of garlic in the pan and place in the oven at 400 degrees for 1 hour, or until tomatoes are brown and tender. 

Remove tomatoes and garlic from oven and allow to cool slightly. Transfer garlic, tomatoes, and juices into blender in small batches (remove skins with a fork during this process, if desired) and pulse to a chunky puree.  In a medium sauce pan, combine puree, thyme, pepper, and stock.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 25 minutes or until cooked down to desired consistency. Remove from heat and adjust seasoning to taste.   

recipe from Smitten Kitchen

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