Roasted tomato soup with garlic and cream [Vegetarian]

Jaymi's Notes:
A classic favorite is the good old tomato soup. And a main reason why it's such a classic is because it's so simple and so gooooooood! Vine-ripened summer tomatoes have amazing flavor in the first place. And when you roast them with garlic and olive oil, well you're on to something simply magical. Simmer those roasted tomatoes with some broth, and, to thicken it up a little, some chickpeas or potatoes, then blend it all into a smooth purée with a splash of cream. And that's it! Add some fresh basil and a few favorite garnishes like Parmesan or a crunchy baguette and you have a hot soup that celebrates one of the most important and loved vegetables of summer. Best of all, if your tomato plants are done for the season, you can easily use canned or jarred tomatoes instead. So whether it's the last of summer's bounty or the first of the winter's stash, you're set to make this flavorful soup.

You can easily do a vegan version of this recipe by leaving out the cream. You'll have the strong roasted tomato and garlic flavor, and a more vibrant red color.

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Kelly's Recipe:
I've been canning tomatoes all this week, and for some reason I've had a larger number than usual of jars that didn't seal. I ended up with eight jars of tomatoes in my refrigerator that had to be used up fairly quickly. Of course, I made some pasta sauce, but then I decided to roast some of the tomatoes and make a soup. You can use canned tomatoes for this soup, or if you still have some fresh, you could use those.

I made this soup for my book club and they loved it. They thought I had gone to a lot of trouble, but the prep time was essentially the time it took to peel the garlic, and then puree they whole thing when the roasting was complete. The long slow roasting gives the tomatoes a really intense flavour.

I did add some pureed chickpeas to the soup to give it a bit more body, but otherwise I kept it pretty simple. If you like, you could add some vegetables to this, or even use it as a base for some minestrone. In any case, the addition of a bit of bread and a green salad makes a perfect late summer lunch.

I didn't add any salt to the soup, because there is a teaspoon of salt that gets added to the tomatoes when I process them, and then the roasting intensifies the salt. So taste the soup before adding anything to it. I'm not sure why my soup was so foamy when I made it, but after about ten minutes the foam went away.

© Jaymi Heimbuch

Roasted Tomato Soup

6 cups of tomatoes, with their juice
1 head of garlic, broken into cloves and peeled
1-2 tbsp olive oil
6 cups vegetable stock, or water
1 can chickpeas or 2-3 new potatoes, diced
Basil leaves, chopped
1/2 cup half and half or cream (omit, for vegan version)1. Place tomatoes and their juice in an oven-proof casserole. Add the garlic cloves and drizzle with the olive oil. Roast in a 250F oven until the garlic is soft and the tomatoes are cooked, with the liquid absorbed, 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Remove from the oven and let rest.

2. Pour tomatoes into a large pot. Add the stock and the chickpeas or potatoes and cook until heated through. Using a blender or immersion blender, puree the soup. Add the half and half or cream (if using) and stir. Add the basil leaves to taste. Serve and enjoy!
© Jaymi Heimbuch

Tags: Fruits & Vegetables | Recipes | The Cooking Project | Tomatoes | Weekday Vegetarian