Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Roasted Tomato Soup

This recipe has been 2 years in the making.  Let me start off by saying, in general I don't even like tomato soup.  Campbell's tomato soup does absolutely nothing for me.  Panera is just about the only place I'll eat tomato soup, and it isn't from lack of trying it other places.  The bare bones of this recipe came from Gina and Pat Neely on Food Network.  I've added a few final touches to make it perfect.  For an extra special touch, I add precooked cheese tortellini at the end!

The case:
  • 4 pounds, tomatoes, halved lengthwise
  • 6 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar   
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper 
  • Pinch sugar 
  • 3 tablespoons butter 
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 onion, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste 
  • 4 cups chicken stock 
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne 
  • 1 cup heavy cream 
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese (freshly grated works best)
  • 3 tablespoons chiffonade fresh basil leaves

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Arrange tomatoes, flesh side up, on 2 wire racks set on sheet trays. Drizzle the tomatoes with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, making sure they are well covered. Season with salt, pepper and sugar. 

Roast in the middle rack of the oven until tomatoes are brown and tender, about 1 hour. Cool slightly. 
Melt butter in 4-quart saucepan over medium heat. Saute the onion for 2 minutes, add garlic and saute for another 2 minutes, and then mix in tomato paste for a few more minutes. 

Add chicken stock and cayenne. Add heavy cream and heat over low heat. Bring up to a boil then reduce heat to low and let simmer for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, peel skins off tomatoes.  Add the roasted tomatoes and basil to the pan. 


Puree with an immersion blender. (Or put 1/2 at a time in a regular blender) 

At this point, I didn't feel like mine looked quite tomatoy, which means red enough.  So I added a can of diced tomatoes and pureed a bit more.

Add Parmesan and cream cheese.  Stir until well blended and cheese is melted.  Season with salt and pepper. Ladle into serving bowls and garnish generously with homemade croutons. 

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