When I was a child, I disliked tomato soup. Of course, the only tomato soup I knew came out of a can with a red and white label on it. I've since expanded my horizons and learned that real tomato soup comes from real tomatoes - what a revelation! Roasting the tomatoes intensifies their flavor, even when using the less than perfect tomatoes one usually finds this time of year. If you have the good fortune to have some homemade chicken stock on hand, your soup will be that much better for it.
Roasted Tomato Soup
2-1/2 pounds fresh tomatoes (mix of fresh cherry and plum tomatoes)
6 cloves garlic, peeled
2 small yellow onions, sliced
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 quart chicken stock
2 bay leaves
4 tablespoons butter
12 sun-dried tomato halves
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves, optional
1/2 cup heavy cream, optional
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Wash, core and cut the tomatoes into halves. Spread the tomatoes, garlic cloves and onions onto a baking tray. Drizzle with 1/2 cup of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 25 to 40 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, bay leaves, butter, and sun-dried tomatoes. 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. Garnish with splash of heavy cream.
Source: Adapted from Tyler Florence
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