I made this dish recently at a demo I did at Williams-Sonoma in Danbury, CT and it has since become a personal favorite of mine. The flavor was tomato at it’s best with a freshness and lightness that you just can’t get from jarred tomatoes. Since tomatoes are in season all over the US and most of the Northern Hemisphere, this is the perfect time to make this incredible soup. For my international friends in other climates, roasting fresh tomatoes – even if they’re not in their prime – helps tremendously to mask their mealiness.
Serve it with grilled or roasted bread, brushed with a good quality white truffle oil and sprinkled with finely diced fresh herbs (or dried) and you have a winner every time…with plenty of leftovers!!!
Sorry about the poor quality photos, but I took these at the store, under overhead lights. But I assure you, if you make this…the photo won’t matter.
Also, I’m estimating the number of servings since I only gave out small samples. But it made about a gallon (4 liters) or so depending on how much broth you add…which will depend on how thick or thin you like your soup. This one was on the thicker side.
Note: this also makes a great sauce for vegetables, pasta and grains
Ingredients for the Soup
4 lbs (1.81 kg) Roma (or plum) Tomatoes – cut in 1/4 inch (6.5 mm) slices
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (or enough to cover the bottom on the pot)
2 cups chicken (or vegetable) broth
1/2 of a small sweet onion – finely chopped
1 medium garlic clove – finely chopped
3-4 leaves of fresh basil – slivered
For the Crustini
Baguette cut on the diagonal in 1/4 inch slices
Truffle oil for brushing
Fresh Herbs (your choice) finely diced (or use your favorite dried combo such as herbs de provence)
Place the tomatoes in a single layer onto a baking sheet brushed with olive oil. Sprinkle the tomatoes with the oil as well and season with salt and pepper Place in a 400F (204C) degree and cook until they’re softened, caramelized and fragrant (about 20-30 minutes). I’m guessing here since the oven I used wasn’t properly calibrated.
Brush the bread on both sides with the truffle oil and sprinkle with the herbs. Place on a baking tray and roast for about 10 minutes or until golden. You can also grill them.
While the tomatoes and the bread are in the oven, place a medium/large pot (enough to hold a couple of gallons or 6-8 liters) over medium/low heat
Add oil and heat then add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes until they begin to soften.
Add garlic and cook for about 30 seconds, or just until it begins to color. And then turn off the heat.
When the tomatoes are caramelized, add them to a mixer or food processor (You may have to do this in batches) along with the onions and garlic from the pot and halve the broth.
Puree to your desired degree of smoothness and return them to the pot on the stovetop.
Add the remaining broth – more for a thinner soup and less for something thicker
Serve in bowls garnished with basil and a dazzle of the truffle oil and the crostini.
Enjoy it tonight. Refrigerate and enjoy for lunch tomorrow or freeze for another day.
As for the crostini…make a big batch and eat all week long with various toppings. Experiment! Oh…and these can easily be made ahead!
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