Hope you are all well with the snowstorms today in the northeast and my prayers to our friends in other parts of the country dealing with ice storms and severe weather.
I wanted to share with you what happened to me and I think it is a perfect example of trying to find the silver lining when things don’t go as planned.
I ordered a grocery delivery from Instacart for Costco purchases and when the order arrived I was quite surprised by one of the delivered items. I ordered 2 containers of Campari tomatoes (which are small and are the size of a golf ball, somewhere between a cherry tomato and a roma tomato).
In my order (even though I specify no substitutions), instead of Campari tomatoes, I received 12 gigantic tomatoes on the vine. Now it is impossible to return them, so I had to think of what I could do with them and then the lightbulb went off. Tomato soup……
So I washed & cored the tomatoes and roasted them for 30 minutes, added them to a pot on the stove with sun dried tomatoes, vegetable paste (like tomato paste but veggie- see photo below), sun dried tomatoes, onions, garlic, basil, bay leaf and chicken broth. I simmered this mixture for 30 minutes and blended it with the immersion blender (stick blender) and we had the best tomato soup. I was about to add some heavy cream to make it a bisque but I added some honey instead ( a tip I read about on Pinterest. The honey will cut the acidity of the tomatoes but not make it overly sweet). It was delicious and I wanted to share the recipe with all of you.
This is the vegetable paste I buy…
I hope you try this recipe and enjoy it as much as we did. I made a grilled cheese sandwich to go along with the soup and a garnish of pumpkin seeds & basil and it hit the spot on a nice cold snow day.
Roasted Tomato Basil Soup
- 12 vine ripened tomatoes (approx. 2-1/2 to 3 lbs.)
- 1 large yellow or red onion, diced
- 3-4 (or more) cloves of garlic (peeled & minced)
- 4 pieces of sun-dried tomatoes in oil
- 1 tbsp “Le Verdurine” paste- vegetable tomato paste- purchased in Italian deli’s or online – if you can’t find it substitute regular tomato paste.
- 2-3 sprigs fresh thyme or (1/2 tsp. dried)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 quarts low sodium chicken broth
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 cup of packed fresh basil leaves (wash and dry)
- 2 tsp of honey
- 1 bay leaf
- ¼ tsp of Red pepper flakes or a Calabrian chili pepper if you want heat (optional)
- 2 tbsp. butter (optional)
- Pumpkin seeds for garnish (optional)
Preheat oven to 450 degrees
- Wash, core and cut the tomatoes into halves
- Drizzle the tomatoes with olive oil, and season with salt, and a couple cracks of fresh ground pepper
- Arrange cut side up on a sheet pan and roast for 20-30 minutes until caramelized.
- Preheat a large pot on the stove and add 2 tbsp of olive oil and sauté the onions, salt and pepper until the onions are translucent and soft (approx. 6 minutes).
- Add the garlic, vegetable or tomato paste, fresh thyme and red pepper flakes or Calabrian chili pepper (if using) and cook for another 5 minutes- stirring often
- Add the roasted tomatoes, chicken broth, sun-dried tomatoes, bay leaf, basil leaves and butter (if using).
- Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for 30-45 minutes with the lid on the pot.
- After simmering, remove the bay leaf and add 2 tsp of honey and check for seasoning (may need more salt and pepper to taste).
- Using an immersion blender (stick blender), puree the soup until smooth
- Garnish with chopped basil and I use a tbsp. of roasted pumpkin seeds.
- If you do not have a stick blender and need to use the regular blender, be CAREFUL NOT TO BURN YOURSELF and only fill the blender halfway at a time to blend. Pour the blended soup into a different pot and repeat with all the chunky soup and return to low heat.
Until my next post, make every day a celebration!
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