When I tell people that I love to cook, I’m often asked what my “signature” dish is. And although I’ve yet to figure that out, I can tell you that my signature food category is of the soup variety. I don’t know what it is, but I just love love love soup. It’s warm, comforting, and just so so delicious. Lucky for me, I live in upstate New York where it’s cool most of the time, so I can enjoy soups almost all year round. One of my favorites uses gorgeously ripe tomatoes, but because they get all sweet and mellow from being roasted, you can make this soup anytime of the year! I highly recommend using fresh tomatoes instead of canned for this, and peeling them is unnecessary (I’m lazy). The roasting sweetens both the tomato and the garlic, which makes for one delectable soup. It tastes indulgent, thanks to the late addition of half and half (I use soy). Add a crank or two or four of fresh black pepper, serve with some fresh bread or sprouted toast and enjoy your (healthy!) bowl of comforting tomato goodness.
Here are the tomatoes getting ready to go into the oven. I used Roma tomatoes, as they looked the best at my grocery store. Leave the little paper jackets on the garlic cloves, and salt, pepper and drizzle with olive oil. I love pepper, so I was a little aggressive; scale back according to your taste preferences.
Sorry for the poor photo, but here are the cooked tomatoes and cooled roasted garlic added to the pot and covered with vegetable broth. The smell in my apartment was intoxicating at this point!
roasted tomato and garlic soup.
adapted from kelsey’s apple a day.
4 lbs. tomatoes, halved lengthwise
10 garlic cloves, separated but unpeeled
2 fire roasted bell peppers (I used the jarred ones from Trader Joe’s)
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. salt, plus more to taste
½ black pepper, plus more to taste
1 medium onion, finely chopped
½ tsp. dried oregano
2 tsp. sugar
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
3 c. vegetable broth (more if needed)
1/3 cup half and half (I usually use soy)
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat to 350 degree oven.
Arrange tomatoes cut sides up, in a single layer on a large, shallow baking pan. Nestle garlic in between tomato halves. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast one hour, turning occasionally, then cool in the pan on a rack. When fully cooled, pull the garlic.
Cook onion, oregano, and sugar in butter in a heavy pot over moderately low heat, stirring frequently, until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Add roasted peppers.
Add tomatoes, garlic, and broth and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.
Puree soup with an immersion blender or in batches in a regular blender, then strain into cleaned pot discarding solids. (Straining is optional based on preference).
Stir in half and half. Salt and pepper to taste, then simmer two minutes longer Serves 6-8. Serve with bread and/or toast. Top with extra black pepper if desired.
**Please try and use all organic ingredient if possible**