Sunday Supper: Roasted Tomato Soup

Wintertime is soup time! Yes, on these cold and dreary 70 degrees and sunny Los Angeles winter days, nothing will warm you up quite like a big bowl of soup. Okay, well… sometimes you still want a bowl of soup no matter what. ‘Tis the season, right? I’ve wanted to make this recipe for roasted tomato soup for a really long time, and since I received the immersion blender I asked Santa for this year, it was obvious what my next Sunday Supper would be. But this is no ordinary tomato soup! Tomatoes, garlic, red bell peppers, and onions are bathed in balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and fresh thyme, and roasted together to give the final dish a really deep, rich flavor. Pair the soup with grilled cheese for a classic combo, or dip a crusty baguette or even your favorite crackers in it. I bet you already feel that winter chill just melting away… ahhhh….

Roasted Tomato Soup
(Courtesy of Cooking for Real)
Makes 6 servings

8 Roma tomatoes, halved and seeded
2 red bell peppers, quartered and seeded
1 medium onion, quartered
8 cloves garlic
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped
4 tbsp olive oil, divided
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 oz can tomato paste
6 cups vegetable stock
1/4 cup loosely packed chiffonade basil leaves

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

On a sheet pan, gently toss together the tomatoes, peppers, onion, garlic, thyme, 2 tablespoons olive oil, vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste. Arrange the tomatoes and red peppers, skin side up, and bake until lightly charred, 45 to 50 minutes.

In a soup pot, warm the remaining 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Stir in the tomato paste and mix well. Add the tomato and pepper mixture, including the juices, and combine. Stir in the stock, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Transfer the soup to a blender* (or use an immersion blender) and pulse in small batches that reach only about a third to halfway up the side of the jar. Be careful to start slow then increase the speed to blend the ingredients until smooth. Use a separate bowl to hold the blended soup and then return it all to the pot.

Heat the soup to warm through, then ladle into serving bowls and garnish with basil. Enjoy!

*When blending hot liquids: Remove liquid from the heat and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes. Transfer liquid to a blender or food processor and fill it no more than halfway. If using a blender, release one corner of the lid. This prevents the vacuum effect that creates heat explosions. Place a towel over the top of the machine, pulse a few times then process on high speed until smooth.