It's 13 degrees here in Chicago with snow flurries so tomato soup sounded perfect for dinner.
We still have farmers markets in winter so this soup contains fresh local ingredients and is tasty anytime of year. You can really substitute any herbs that are available. Here I had basil, thyme and flat parsley. I'm a prodigy of my grandma Nancy's cooking after living with her one summer when I was home from college. This soup reminds me of her because she froze anything she didn't use and then found a reason to use it later. I had frozen bread crusts from a tea party sandwiches I made long ago, then added them here near the end. They are a perfect addition to throw into this soup so that you can thicken it without cream. While these directions are adapted from several recipes, I always think tomato soup is not complete without a side of grilled cheese!
- 5 pounds ripe tomatoes, cut in half
- about 1/4 cup good olive oil
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 yellow onions, chopped
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 3 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves
- 1/4 cup fresh thyme leaves
- 1/4 cup fresh flat leaf parsley
- 1 quart chicken stock or water (more if you like it less thick)
- 2 cups leftover bread crusts
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Toss together tomatoes, olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread tomatoes in 1 layer and roast for 45 minutes.
- In a large stockpot over medium heat, saute onions and garlic with olive oil, butter, red pepper flakes for 10 minutes, until onions start to brown. Add the tomatoes (include liquid on baking sheet), and chicken stock. Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for 40 minutes. Add bread crusts last, then blend in food processor. Stir in fresh chopped herbs, they will wilt quickly in your warm soup. Serve hot and don't forget the grilled cheese and cold glass of milk!