By Emily Thorson
One of my favorite ways to find recipes is the Food Blog Search. I like reading stories attached to recipes, and I also find that searching via their Google interface is much easier than using the crazy complex search menus on recipe sites like Epicurious.
This weekend I went looking for tomato soup recipes. I had two stipulations: it had to include basil and I didn’t want anything that required fresh tomatoes (they’re so crappy this time of year). A lot of folks seemed to be fond of Ina Garten’s recipe, but it called for fresh tomatoes. But roasting! That DID sound like a good idea. The search continued….
….until I happened upon this recipe, which met all my requirements, AND THEN SOME. Add balsamic vinegar? Yes we can! So I made the soup. And it was incredible. So incredible, in fact, that the next day I made it all over again.
Having made the soup twice in two days, I do have a few variations on the original recipe (most notably the step where you stir in milk at the end–it doesn’t add much flavor and makes it harder to freeze, so my advice is not to bother). Below is the recipe with my changes. Oh, and you know what’s REALLY good? Fry an egg–make sure the yolk is still nice and runny–and plop it on top of the soup. I’ve been egging up my tomato soups like a crazy person ever since reading this and I can’t recommend it highly enough.
Recipe after the jump…
Roasted Tomato and Basil Soup
Serves about 2 (it cooks down a lot. Also it’s delicious. In fact, you may be able to eat the entire thing yourself).
* 1 28 oz can of whole tomatoes
* 4 tbsp olive oil, plus some for the roasting pan
* 1 tsp dried basil
* 2 cloves of garlic, sliced into thin slivers + 2 cloves of garlic, minced
* 1 tbsp olive oil
* 1 sweet yellow onion, diced
* 2 carrots, diced
* 2 celery stalks, diced
* 2 cups of chicken broth
* 1 bay leaf
* 1/2 tsp white sugar
* 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar (or just splash it in there. Whatevs)
* 1/4 cup fresh chopped basil (more if you want it extra-basily)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Strain tomatoes from juice, reserving juice for later. Coat a tinfoil lined baking sheet with some olive oil. Put the tomatoes in the pan, then slide the garlic slivers into them. Just stuff ’em in there. Don’t worry too much about structural integrity; you’ll be soupifying them soon enough. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the top of the tomatoes, along with the dried basil. Place in oven and roast for 30 minutes.
While the tomatoes are roasting, heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a dutch oven or large soup pan over medium heat. Add onion, carrot and celery and cook until tender. Add garlic and stir, then add broth, reserved tomato juice, bay leaf, sugar, balsamic vinegar and roasted tomatoes. Cook over medium low heat for 2 or 3 hours.
When you’re done simmering, add the fresh basil. Remove the bay leaf and use an immersion blender to blend until you reach desired smoothness (I recommend leaving some chunks in there).