If you are looking for the best recipe for tomato soup, well then, you've found it. If you are looking for a quick tomato soup that you can just throw together, this isn't it. This soup is made with love. Each ingredient is treated with respect to bring out its best flavors. In the end, it's not that hard, but it sure isn't a soup you can throw together. The tomatoes that make up the soup are roasted whole, peeled, and pureed. The garlic is roasted. Chunks of diced tomato are roasted and caramelized. Fresh basil and whole cream are used. This is a recipe made with love, and the results are a tomato soup in its purest, most flavorful form.
I have loved tomatoes since I was a little girl. We lived in a tiny 2 bedroom apartment in Anaheim, California. Our "backyard" was just a small patio that we somehow crammed a swing set into. I'm not joking, it was actually kind of funny. The swing set barely fit and you couldn't swing very high otherwise you'd hit the walls, but we loved it. It was a swing set of our own! Who cares if it had some inconveniences and challenges My mom grew tomatoes in pots on that porch, cramming them in along the edges and corners. I remember eating tomatoes straight off those plants and falling in love. I must have been 4 years old. My parents started calling me the tomato queen, gobbling up tomatoes as fast as they would grow. To me, tomato soup is the crowning glory of the tomato. Everything about it accentuates that pure tomato flavor. It is my comfort food. It brings me back to being 4 years old, playing on a swing set where my feet hit the walls, unaware of the inconveniences and challenges of life, and loving every minute of it. I take my grilled cheese in one hand, my spoon in the other, and everything is right in the world once again.
13 Roma Tomatoes
1 head garlic
Salt and Pepper
1/2 onion, diced
1 cup chicken broth
12 large fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
1. Take 8 of the roma tomatoes and put them on a baking sheet. Roast on an outdoor grill, or under a broiler until the skins are browning and bursting, turning them occasionally so that all sides get that way. Remove from the oven, let cool a little bit, and remove the peels.
2. Take the head of garlic and chop off the tips (that's the pointy side of the garlic bulb) exposing all the cloves. Drizzle with olive oil so that a little bit gets down into each clove. Wrap in aluminum foil and roast in a 450 degree oven for about 30 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, take your remaining 5 roma tomatoes and dice them. Spread them out on a baking sheet and drizzle with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Put them in the oven with the garlic and roast them for about 15-20 minutes until they start to caramelize. Remove them from the oven once done and set aside.
4. While things are finishing roasting in the oven, put about 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large saucepan. Add in the diced onion and season with a little salt. Saute the onions for about 5 minutes until they become soft and translucent. Add in the chicken broth and skinned tomatoes. Bring it to a boil and simmer for about 10 minutes. Add in 6 of the roasted garlic cloves when they finish. Save the rest of the roasted bulb for something else tasty like some garlic bread.
5. Remove from heat. Add in the fresh basil leaves, Use a handheld immersion blender to puree until smooth (or transfer to a blender to puree and return to the pot). Stir in the heavy cream and roasted diced tomatoes, taste, and add more salt and pepper if necessary. Serve hot.