I have been busily canning stewed tomatoes, marinara sauce and ketchup, but still the harvest basket fills with tomatoes. Roasting fresh tomatoes with garden onions and garlic is an easy way to blow through that late summer harvest.
Sauce tomatoes work best, like the delicious San Marzanos. But any old mix of tomatoes will work – just roast a bit longer for slicer tomatoes that are more watery.
This recipe is based on one from the Apples to Zucchini cookbook – an incredibly vegetarian cookbook. It was originally written for people who need to eat a low-protein diet, like my nephew who has the metabolic disease PKU. However, it has earned it’s place on our homestead due to the vast number of delicious vegetarian recipes it includes. They can all be left as written for people on a low-protein diet or easily adapted for those of us without dietary restrictions.
Be warned that the cookbook does not include photographs. It’s really just a no-nonsense guide to cooking with vegetable-based meals with options to add in cheese, beans or rice to many of the dishes to increase the protein. It’s hard to find, but use the link above to track it down.
Okay, back to the soup… The recipe basically slow roasts the tomatoes and I’d estimate it takes about two hours from start to finish. I have a child, so that’s not doable on a weeknight EXCEPT I make the soup after dinner. It doesn’t require a lot of active time, just slow cooking time. I cook it up when the house cools down for the evening, blend it up and save it for the next day. It’s easy to reheat or enjoy cold.
Fresh Tomato Soup
- twenty fresh tomatoes, halved with skins on
- 10-15 cloves garlic left in skin
- 2 onions, roughly quartered
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 tsp salt and pepper
- 1/4 tsp dried red chili flakes
- 2 T. dried basil
- 2 c. vegetable broth
- 1 quart chopped tomatoes (I actually use a quart of home canned, but you can use fresh too)
- 2 T sugar
- creme fraiche, sour cream or heavy cream to garnish
- In a large mixing bowl, toss tomatoes, garlic and onions with enough olive oil to lightly coat, about 1/4 cup. Pour onto a rimmed baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 45 minutes in the oven at 425 degrees.
- When the tomatoes are wrinkly and the onion is soft, remove from the oven and pour everything into a big stock pot. Dig out the garlic cloves and press them out from their skins, discarding the papery skins. Add red chili flakes, basil and broth. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 30 minutes.
- Blend with an immersion blender or work in batches with standing blender, only filled halfway since the mixture expands when the blender is on. Once pureed, return to stock pot and add the quart of roughly chopped tomatoes and the sugar. Return to a simmer for fifteen minutes. Adjust consistency with more water if desired and taste to make sure the sugar/salt/pepper balance is right. Serve warm or cold with a dollop of cream (either creme fraiche, sour cream or heavy cream) and crusty bread.
I suspect the soup freezes well, but haven’t experimented with that yet. The dollop of cream gives it a needed depth because, as delicious as roasted tomatoes are, it can be a bit flat otherwise. I bet some roasted red peppers would be a great addition as well, so play around with it. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!