Tomato, tomahto, say soup that’s squisito!

 

I say to-ma-to, you say to-mah-to.

But when the soup’s simmering, we agree. Homemade is the way to go!

When the chips are down and you’re feeling blue … when winter’s chill your bones bores through … when you’re dragged down by a cold or flu … hot tomato soup is what to do!

Like chicken noodle, tomato soup is a consummerate comfort food. Paired with a toasted cheese sandwich, does soothing the heart and keeping meat on the bones get much better on a chilly night?

I’m a big fan of tomato soup. Campbell’s rocks! However, am not a fan of the high sugar content. (Actually, have never understood why Campell’s adds so much sugar to its tomato soup save to satisfy the American palate that equates sugar with flavor. Sad.)

So I searched around and found a simple yet so satisfying Roasted Tomato Soup sans sugar on Food Network.

Let’s get cookin’!

1. As luck had it, there were already 2 pounds of cherry tomatoes from Costco in the fridge. They hadn’t made it into salads or smoothies as planned and the skins were beginning to crinkle — the perfect excuse and use for a soup

2 pounds of aging cherry tomatoes

2. Each tomato is sliced in half and laid in a roasting pan coated on the bottom with parchment paper. Foil would also do. Good thing I love to cook cuz slicin’ 2 pounds of little tomatoes gets, well, a little tedious! 🙂

3. On top of the tomatoes are slices of 1 medium white onion. And I weep like a little girl who just lost her best friend.

4. Plus 6 cloves of garlic, peeled. No need to chop. Spot a clove at knife tip?

tomatoes, onion, garlic, olive oil. salt and pepper. Simple!

5. Drizzled with about 1/2 cup olive oil, salt and pepper. I quit using iodized salt long ago. Sea salt or pink Himalayan is a must for savoriness (and nutrition). Once you’ve tasted the differences between iodized and sea salt, you’ll never go back!

6. Into a 450-degree oven for 20-30 minutes or until onions carmelize. Don’t let them burn; they turn bitter! I like just a smidge of black on some edges, as seen in the pic.

carmelized tomatoes, onion and garlic

7. While they roast, create your stock. As written before, I begin all soups with Better Than Bouillon. Amazing stuff! A zillion times better than those salt licks in the box! My broth is 1 quart water plus 1 heaping tablespoon of BTB (like a thick paste).

everthing’s better with Better Than Bouillon

 

8. Straight from the oven into the waiting broth go the tomatoes, onion, garlic, their olive oil.

it’s beginning to look a lot like tomato soup!

9. I happen to have fresh basil that’s on its last leg so chop and throw into pot. Don’t use the bay leaves called for but you certainly could!

basil on its last leg

10. Bring to a boil then simmer for 20-30 minutes to reduce liquid by about 1/3.

11. You could certainly eat it somewhat chunky! It’s a lovely shade of sunset. (However, since I do have an immersion blender, I whirr away straight in the pot. )

IMG_0042

Tomato soup hot off the stove, before immersion blender

12. While the recipe calls for optional cream, I leave it out. (Don’t care for cream-based soups.) It’s plenty creamy and hearty as is.

Verdict: A delightful balance of garlic and onion and sweetness of tomatoes and earthiness from roasting.  Plus not a granule of added sugar! That it’s oh-so-simple to create … sweet!

You could dress it with parsley or basil leaves or sprinkles of shredded cheese. I opt for garlic croutons for crunch.

I say tom-a-to, you say to-mah-to. Either way, let’s all sing squisito! (Delicious in Italy, capital of the esteemed  tomato.)

 

Roasted Tomato Soup

 

Roasted Tomato Soup (and my notes)

Ingredients

2 1/2 pounds fresh tomatoes (mix of fresh heirlooms, cherry, vine and plum tomatoes) (I used 2 pounds)

6 cloves garlic, peeled

2 small yellow onions, sliced

Vine cherry tomatoes for garnish, optional (didn’t use)

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 quart chicken stock

2 bay leaves (didn’t use)

4 tablespoons butter (didn’t use; did use all olive oil from tomatoes)

1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves, optional (used 1/4 cup)

3/4 cup heavy cream, optional (didn’t use)

Directions

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. If using vine cherry tomatoes for garnish, add them as well, leaving them whole and on the vine. Drizzle with 1/2 cup of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 20 to 30 minutes, or until caramelized.

Remove roasted tomatoes, garlic and onion from the oven and transfer to a large stock pot (set aside the roasted vine tomatoes for later). Add 3/4 of the chicken stock, bay leaves, and butter. 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 in bowl with 3 or 4 roasted vine cherry tomatoes and a splash of heavy cream.

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