This recipe is from the early months of the blog. It has been buried deep within the archives and disguised with one of the worst photos I have ever taken. But because this soup is what made me realize that not all tomato soup is as disgusting as what comes in a can, it needed to be rescued and reintroduced. This is one of my very favorite soups, and when paired with a grilled cheese panini on fresh homemade sourdough, it just doesn’t get much better. Even though my temporary heartburn currently makes all soup an unpleasant experience, I just couldn’t go the whole winter without enjoying this meal at least once. And even though most of us are ready for the cold weather to make a speedy retreat, I know better. It’s going to stick around for a while longer with little bursts of warmth in between. When one of those blustery days shows its ugly face, be ready. You can make this soup with a grilled cheese, sit inside nice and cozy and wait out the cold just a little bit longer.
3 lbs. ripe tomatoes, halved with seeds scooped out
¼ cup plus 2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. kosher salt
1½ tsp. black pepper
2 tbsp. butter
2 cups chopped onion
6 cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp. red pepper flakes
1 (28 oz.) can whole tomatoes
2 cups fresh basil leaves, torn
1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
Preheat the oven to 400˚ F. Combine the tomato halves, ¼ cup of olive oil, salt and pepper in a large bowl; toss well to combine. Spread the tomato halves out on a large baking sheet. Roast the tomatoes for 45 minutes.
In a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat, combine the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil with the butter and heat until the butter is melted. Add the onions, garlic and red pepper flakes to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly soften, about 7-10 minutes. Add in the canned tomatoes, roasted tomatoes, basil, thyme and chicken stock. Bring the mixture to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, 40 minutes.
Use an immersion blender to puree the soup until completely smooth. (Alternatively, you can use a blender or food processor. If you do, be sure to vent the steam and be very careful not to spill the hot liquid!)