It’s finally cooled down, so you know what that means: soup season! This Roasted Tomato Basil Soup is unlike any watery bland icky canned tomato soup you’ve ever had, so stick around! It’s intense, rich flavor and silky texture will warm yo belly and tickle yo tastebuds, so you go grab yoself a spoon. You hear me?!
Right before I left for Colorado, the weather finally decided to cool down, so I decided to make soup. Oh yes, hey, I’m in CO right now. I’ve written about my time out here before, and you can check it out here! Anyway, with the weather cooling down, but still having a plethora of paste tomatoes, I decided to take a break from canning and make one of my super ultimate favorites: roasted tomato basil soup.
Seriously, yum, get in mah belly right meow soup. Also, and this is slightly embarrassing, I only started liking tomato soup a few years ago. I know. It’s true. I thought tomato soup was reserved for the watery stuff in the can I refused to even dip my grilled cheese in as a kid. But you guys, this soup is SO much more than that.
As someone who turned her nose up to even the thought of tomato soup for decades, I reluctantly agreed to try some at a local bar/restaurant that was *supposedly* known for their tomato bisque. I don’t think I admitted it to myself until I was scraping the bottom of the cup, but this $hit was gooooood.
I’d been missing out on this for how long?! My mind started spinning, and I knew I must recreate this. So I did, and I liked it. I literally like it so much that a grilled cheese would simply be an afterthought. A supporting role at best. Roasted Tomato Basil Soup . . . THIS, my friends, is the STAR. I knew end-of-season paste tomatoes would be perfect, because you get the flavor of a homegrown tomato with the high-heat tolerance of any good paste tomato, such as my favorite ‘Opalka’.
Pro Tip: If you grow paste tomatoes or are able to get a good deal on some end-of-season tomatoes, freeze extras! Once thawed, you can easily peel the skins off. Then, bonus, you can have delicious roasted tomato basil soup all through winter. (Pro Tip Extra: You can freeze basil too! Gently place washed leaves in a plastic bag, remove as much air as possible, and freeze. Alternatively, freeze chopped basil in ice cube trays with water or broth.)
If we’re roasting tomatoes, let’s roast some garlic too, mmkay? Roasting garlic gives it an intense, rich flavor and a silky texture that’s perfect for this soup. You feelin me? You pickin up what I’m puttin down? I knew you were. How about we throw in sweet Italian frying peppers to the roasting pan for some depth. I grow ‘Jimmy Nardello’ peppers, and I thought these would be just perfect. If you can’t find Italian frying peppers, substitute a sweet red bell pepper. It will be just as swell. Let’s add some bright fresh basil to liven things up. We’ll splash in some cream and toss in a shot of brandy for good measure. Finally, let’s top it off with parmesan cheese, because nutty complex cheeeeeeeeeese.
And because roasted tomato basil soup. Cozy up in your favorite sweater, plop down on the couch with this luscious soup, and savor it sip by sip while Netflixin.
Roasted Tomato Basil Soup
- 4 pounds roma or plum tomatoes halved lengthwise, seeds removed
- 3 sweet red Italian frying peppers
- 1 head garlic loose papery skins removed and top 1/4-inch trimmed
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon coconut sugar
- 8 sprigs thyme
- 1 large yellow onion diced
- pinch of crushed red peppers
- 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 cup cream
- 2 tablespoons brandy optional
- 1/4 cup basil chopped
- grated parmesan cheese for garnish
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place tomatoes and garlic cut-side up in a single layer on baking sheet. Add peppers to baking sheet (if using a bell pepper, slice in half and place cut-side up on baking sheet). Sprinkle thyme over tomatoes. Drizzle with 1/4 cup olive oil and sprinkle with a teaspoon salt and sugar. Roast about 1 hour. Remove from oven and cool until easily handled. Discard thyme sprigs. Remove tomato skins and pepper skins and seeds; set aside. Remove garlic bulbs from paper, and smash bulbs with a fork; set aside.
- Meanwhile, heat remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until starting to brown, about 8–10 minutes. Add crushed red peppers, stock, and bay leaf. Stir in tomatoes, peppers, and half of the garlic paste (reserve other half for some garlic toast). Simmer for 30 minutes.
- Reduce heat to low, remove bay leaf, and using an immersion blender, blend soup until smooth (alternatively, blend in batches using a traditional blender). Stir in heavy cream and simmer for additional 3–5 minutes. Off heat, stir in chopped basil and brandy. Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with freshly-grated parmesan cheese and serve with garlic toast.