Growing up, I hated tomato soup. Perhaps it was because I only encountered the canned variety, but it completely grossed me out. It wasn’t until recently that I tried homemade tomato soup, and had somewhat of an eureka moment. This is what tomato soup is supposed to taste like! Rich, creamy and full of flavor. So much better than the thin, watery verision that comes from a can. Plus, tomato soup is a great excuse to grill up some grilled cheese.
Roasting the tomatoes really brings out the flavor in the tomatoes, and the shallots and brown sugar gives it just a hint of sweetness. The original recipe called for brandy, but I omitted it because I didn’t want to make an extra trip to the liquor store. Instead, I added just a little half-and-half which made the soup even more rich and creamy.
Roasted Tomato Soup
Yields: 6 servings
2 (28-ounce) cans whole tomatoes in juice
1½ tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter
4 shallots, chopped
1 tablespoon tomato paste
⅛ teaspoon allspice
1¾ cup low-sodium chicken broth
¼ cup half and half (optional)
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Line the bottom and sides of two 8 or 9-inch round pans with aluminum foil.
Use a slotted spoon to remove the tomatoes from their juice. Gently squeeze each tomato to remove most of its juices. Place the tomatoes stem-side up on one of the prepared pans. Sprinkle the tomatoes with the brown sugar. Roast the tomatoes until they are dry and lightly browned, about 45 minutes. Reserve the tomato juice.
In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the shallots, tomato paste, and allspice to the pot; stir, then cover the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallots are soft, about 10 minutes. Add the chicken broth, reserved tomato juice, and roasted tomatoes. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer 15 minutes. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup.* Stir in the half and half and serve.
*If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can use a regular blender or food processor. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the solids to the blender, add a cup or two of liquid then puree. Gently pour the pureed mixture back into the remaining soup.
Source: Adapted from The Way the Cookie Crumbles