Friday, October 22, 2010

Comforting Roasted Tomato Soup

Time for comfort food! If you know me well, you know how much I love to make soups this time of the year and I grew up eating a lot of tomato soup. Of course when I was a kid, I would love those Campbell's tomato soups my mother bought and made for my lunch box. As I grew up and started cooking my own meals, I wanted to learn how to make my own soups. Those cans never give you enough except broth! Now, I rarely buy cans of soups, plus I want to know what ingredients I'm using. Call me a control maniac - I do!

And out of all the gourmet soups I make, I'm always a sucker for a traditional tomato soup, there's something about it that cheers me up when I have a long week or warms me up on a cold day. It's probably my favorite comfort food. Even better is when I make a grilled cheese panini and dip it in my bowl of soup! I usually make a lot of it and freeze it for leftovers. The soup is even better the day after.

So juicy, sweet, and beautifully red!

I'm using Ina Garten's recipe, but I altered it to suit my taste. One ingredient I substituted was vidalias for yellow onions, because I love their sweet, mild taste and I also put in parsley, for thyme which her recipe called for, to go with the basil cause that's another one of my favorite herbs and parsley goes with just about anything you cook! And, it doesn't overpower the soup either! You have to try this, fix yourself a bowl, and then cuddle up under a warm blanket!

3 lbs. ripe plum tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
1/4 c. plus 2 tbsp. EVOO
1 tbsp. kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp. lemon pepper
2 cups chopped vidalias (2 onions)
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 (28-ounce) canned plum tomatoes, with their juice
4 c. fresh basil leaves, packed
1 tsp. fresh Italian parsley
1 quart chicken stock

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Toss together the tomatoes, 1/4 cup EVOO, salt, and pepper. Spread the tomatoes in 1 layer on a baking sheet and roast for 45 minutes.

In an 8-quart stockpot over medium heat, saute the onions and garlic with 2 tablespoons of EVOO, the butter, and red pepper flakes for 10 minutes, until the onions start to brown. Add the canned tomatoes, basil, parsley, and chicken stock. Add the oven-roasted tomatoes, including the liquid on the baking sheet. Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for 40 minutes. Pass through a food mill fitted with the coarsest blade. Taste for seasonings and top with more basil for garnish. I serve the soup hot.

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