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roasted tomato soup with broiled cheddar

November 15, 2011

I had been drooling over this recipe ever since Deb posted on her beautiful, dangerous blog. How could I not? It’s French onion soup, but without the pesky onion flavor. (Hear that? It’s Chris’s soul dying just a little bit on the inside.)

And so I secretly did a little happy dance on the inside when we got our Halloween snowstorm a couple weekends ago. Finally, soup season! (Shortlived, but I’m okay with that.) I introduced Allia to the glory that is Russo’s, picked up some (yes, yes, out-of-season) plum tomatoes, and slowly tortured myself with the scent of roasting tomatoes for the rest of the afternoon.

All worth it, my friends. This is a heartier soup than your typical tomato version, with some chunks of tomatoes still floating in the flavorful, warm tomato-broth. And the croutons, while not too soup-logged, get soft enough in the oven for you to just dip your spoon through to get a good mouthful of cheese, bread, and soup. Yummm.

Roasted Tomato Soup with Broiled Cheddar
3 lb. plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large or 4 small cloves garlic, unpeeled
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme or 1/4 teaspoon dried
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
4 1-inch slices bread, toasted until hard and lightly buttered on one side
1 tablespoon grated raw onion
1 cup coarsely grated cheddar

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wrap garlic cloves in a tight foil packet. Place tomatoes, cut side up, on large baking sheet, Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Drizzle tomatoes with olive oil. Add foil packet of garlic to tray. Roast until tomatoes are brown and tender  (garlic will be very tender), about 1 hour. Cool slightly.
2. Unwrap garlic packet and peel cloves. Transfer cloves, tomatoes and any accumulated juices to a blender or food processor and pulse machine on and off until tomatoes are a chunky puree. Transfer tomatoes to medium pot and add thyme, crushed red pepper, and stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 25 minutes. Remove from heat and adjust seasonings to taste.
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange four ovenproof soup bowls, crocks, or large mugs on a large, foil-lined baking sheet and divide soup amongst them. Stir grated onion into the warm soup. Float toast slices in each bowl, buttered side up, and divide grated cheese generously over top. Bake soups on tray for 15 to 20 minutes, until cheese on top is bubbling and brown at the edges. Serve immediately. Soup can be prepared one day ahead and kept covered in the fridge; rewarm before serving or before finishing with cheddar crouton.

Source: Smitten Kitchen

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