It is autumn, and one of my favorite things about autumn is the change in weather. It begins to get cool and crisp, or if you are farther north it is already cold and nippy. Either way, it is more acceptable to wear flannel. Here in the Seattle, I have been wearing flannel shirts since July. I love flannel. Now that it is cooler, no one can judge me. Anyway, autumn is also the perfect time for soups.
This particular soup recipe brings back all kinds of wonderful memories with my girlfriend and my closest friends. This is not my recipe; this is our recipe. For those of you sharing a crisp autumn day with your loved ones, try this recipe out. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
Roasted Tomato Basil Soup:
Cook Time: 90 minutes
- 2.5 – 3 lbs Roma tomatoes
- 1 large onion (white, large chunks)
- 4 cloves of garlic (large, minced)
- 2 cups of chicken broth
- 1 can of tomato paste
- 2 cans (14.5 oz) of Italian diced tomatoes
- 3 tbsp EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
- 2 tbsp of butter
- 1/2 cup of cream (or milk)
- 1/2 cup of Mozzarella cheese
- Sprigs of fresh rosemary (2-4 sprigs, based on your own taste, I use more)
- 1 cup of fresh chopped basil
- 2 tsp. of Italian seasoning of choice
- 1/2 tsp. of red pepper flakes (optional)
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Cut tomatoes in half length wise and lay them on a baking sheet face up. You may need two baking sheets as you don’t want to crowd the tomatoes too much.
- Mix 3 tbsp of EVOO with 2 sprigs worth of rosemary leaves
- Brush EVOO mixture over tomatoes. Try to not to use all of the mixture.
- Salt and pepper tomatoes lightly before putting them in the oven for 40-45 minutes or until they are starting to bubble and curl at the edges.
- While the tomatoes are roasting, chop onion and garlic. I usually chop the onion into 1/8 chunks (Cut onion in half, then the pieces in half, then those pieces in half). I like big chunks of onion, so this is optional.
- In a large stock pot, add the rest of the EVOO mixture (or make more, 1 tbsp of EVOO and a few more leaves of rosemary, if you used it all), butter, garlic, and onions. Saute at medium heat for 5 minutes.
- Stir red pepper flakes and continue to saute for 5 more minutes or until the onions are soft and golden brown.
- Add chicken stock, tomato paste, Italian diced tomatoes, roasted tomatoes with pan drippings, and Italian seasoning then simmer for 35 minutes. Stir occasionally.
- Stir in cream, cheese, and fresh basil and simmer for another 5 minutes.
- Serve hot and enjoy!
Tips & Upgrades:
- Wait until the tomatoes have been roasting for 25 minutes before you start prepping the onions and garlic. This allows you to prep, and saute the onions and they should be done right as the tomatoes are done roasting.
- Add chicken stock a little early to heat up. Then add the tomato paste so it mixes easily with the base. Finally, the cans of Italian diced tomatoes. This allows everything to heat up a little before you add the roasted tomatoes and speeds up the cooking.
- Upgrade: Serve with your favorite Grilled Cheese or sourdough toast.
PS: Everyone have an awesome Halloween. Be safe and don’t get too crazy. If you are looking for a book to enjoy this Halloween, but not sure what to read, check out my review of “Warm Bodies”, it will make your decision easier.