Today is my first day back at work after a much needed 2 week break and it’s the second day in a row with -10℃ temps- a perfect storm for some warm comfort food. Tomato soup is a major comfort food in this house. Bonus points if you throw in a grilled cheese. Fun fact: I used to eat tomato soup and grilled cheese for breakfast in university. A lot. But back then I was using boxed tomato soup and whole wheat toast instead of making the soup myself and using sourdough. My, how I’ve grown! Tomato Soup is essentially a mish-mash of aromatics plus tomatoes. No two tomato soups (that I've ever made) are the same. For the recipe I’m sharing with you today, know that the only ingredients you cannot change are the tomatoes. Everything else can be subbed for other things. For your other ingredients you can use onions, shallots, garlic, carrots, roasted peppers, fresh herbs (thyme is my favourite), chicken broth, vegetable broth- the list could go on, but I think you get the point. Anyway, you get it, now let’s make some tomato soup.
2 pounds of Tomatoes
4 tbsp Olive Oil
1 head Garlic
2 cups Chicken Stock (or Broth)
⅓ cup Heavy Cream
2 tbsp. Butter
Salt & Pepper
Preheat your oven to 400 ℉. Remove the skins and rough chop your onions and shallots (I usually just ¼ them) and add a whole head's worth of garlic cloves to an oven-safe baking dish. Add all of your tomatoes and drizzle with olive oil and salt. I leave my tomatoes whole, but like to give them a little poke so they don’t explode in the oven. If you want to add herbs like thyme and rosemary (basically herbs that won’t bruise), this is the time to add them. I usually leave them intact, they’ll fall apart in the oven anyways and then you can pick out their leftover twigs.
Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until they get as caramelized as you’d like them to be. Remember, more caramelization = more flavour.
Once they’re done baking, remove any herb twigs that may be left over and either add the contents to a blender (in batches) or transfer to a pot and blend using an immersion blender. Once in the pot, add your stock until your desired thickness is reached. Let that all simmer together for a few minutes.
Now these last 2 additions are optional, but if you can keep them, I would recommend you do. Add your heavy cream and your butter to the soup. Once combined, give your soup a taste and adjust your salt and pepper accordingly.
I like to wait to adjust seasoning until after I’ve added the heavy cream and butter. The taste difference is massive. As an example, I thought I had way over-salted my soup when I made it recently. After I added the cream and butter, the fats complimented the acidity of the tomatoes and I actually found it to be slightly under-seasoned. This is why it is important to always taste as you go and wait to adjust the seasoning, if possible, until the very end.
Serve with croutons or, my personal favourite, grilled cheese.