I know that we all know and love our Jersey tomatoes. They are one of the finer points of summer and a staple at every farmer's market around. But once autumn rolls around, I usually find myself reaching for canned tomatoes. After a comment from my husband about the metallic taste of my last batch of tomato soup (which sadly, I had to agree with), I decided my next attempt would be made with fresh tomatoes. Happily, even in November, I'm still finding some! At my local grocery store I found some plump field tomatoes from New York state that I picked up. I supplemented these with a pint of cherry tomatoes; I figured these would be a good choice in case the field tomatoes weren't as sweet as they tend to be in summer. I don't think I had to worry. This soup came out delicious and silky! It's low on ingredients and easy on the wallet, and full of nutrients. Tomatoes are full of vitamin C and lycopene. I served this meal to my parents and my husband, and I had about half a serving of soup left over; if you're feeding a crowd, I would double this recipe. I served this soup with freshly baked sweet potato fries, a green salad, and sliced whole wheat bread.
Roasted Tomato Soup
-2 1/2 pounds of fresh tomatoes (a mix of whatever kind you like), quartered and cored
-1 large sweet onion, sliced
-4 cloves garlic, peeled
-4 springs thyme
-1/3 cup olive oil
-3 1/2 cups vegetable stock
-1/2 cup tightly backed basil leaves, torn
-salt and pepper
-Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
-Place the onions and garlic in the bottom of a large baking dish. Place the tomatoes on top of the onions and garlic, and place the thyme sprigs over the top of the tomatoes. Pour the olive oil over the vegetables. Bake for 30 minutes.
-After removing and discarding the thyme sprigs, transfer the contents of the baking dish, along with all the juices, into a soup pot.
-Add the vegetable stock to the pot, and bring the soup to a simmer. Cook for about 20 minutes, until the soup condenses and thickens a bit. Add the basil in the last 5-10 minutes of cooking time.
-Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until it's as smooth as you can get it.
-Prepare another soup pot with a fine-mesh strainer over the top of it. Ladle the pureed soup into the strainer and use the ladle to work the soup through. This will remove any bits of basil and tomato seeds or membranes that didn't puree well.
-Heat the soup back up over medium heat. Ladle into bowls and serve.