We’re still enjoying the bounty of our summer garden in the form of plenty of fresh tomatoes. I’ve been looking for creative ways to eat/cook with them – even tomato sandwiches, which I love, can become tiresome. I’m not a huge fan of tomato soup generally, but I found a recipe on the Food Network, tweaked it a bit, and really like it. I’ve made it twice in the last week, and am looking forward to having a bowl of leftovers for lunch today.
The secret is to brown the tomatoes before hand. This adds a lovely roasted flavour to the soup. To view the original recipe click here; here is my lower-fat version:
October Tomato Soup
3 lbs tomatoes, halved lengthwise (I used various sizes, from cherry, plum and regular tomatoes. I decreased the grilling time by half for the cherry tomatoes)
4 T olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper
pinch of sugar
1 T butter & 2 T Olive oil
4 shallots, chopped
2 T tomato paste
4 cups chicken stock (I used vegetarian bouillon cubes)
1/2 tsp cayenne
1/2 cup yogurt
1/2 cup milk
3 T basil leaves
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Arrange tomatoes, flesh side up, on 2 wire racks set on sheet trays (I put parchment paper on the cookie sheets the second time, as it was difficult to clean up the first time). Drizzle the tomatoes with olive oil, making sure they are well covered. Season with salt, pepper, and sugar.
Roast tomatoes in the middle rack of the oven until tomatoes are brown and tender, about 1 hour (less for smaller tomatoes, as noted above). Cool slightly.
Melt butter in 4-quart saucepan over medium heat, add olive oil. Saute the shallots for 2 minutes, then mix in tomato paste for a few more minutes (I used some of my homemade tomato sauce rather than tomato paste). Add stock and cayenne.
Mix yogurt and milk in medium bowl, then add some of soup base and mix together. Add this mixture to the rest of the mixture in the pot, stir well. (It may appear slightly “curdled” because of the yogurt, but this will disappear when the tomatoes are blended in). Simmer for 10 minutes.
Add the roasted tomatoes to the pan. Puree with an immersion blender (unfortunately mine broke the first time I tried to blend the soup, so I mixed it in a blender. This didn’t work as well with the doubled recipe I made last night, and some soup ended up sprayed around the kitchen out of the top of the blender – very messy!)
Season with salt and pepper. Ladle into serving bowls and garnish generously with fresh basil (don’t miss this step, it really makes the soup special). I used fresh thai basil that we have growing in a pot in our kitchen – deeelicious!