Roasted Tomato Soup with Crispy Herb Croutons

I’m just going to go out and say it — if you don’t like tomato soup, it’s probably because all you’ve ever had is Campbell’s tinny-tasting version of it and that doesn’t count in my book, foodie friends.

Little did I know that when I chose “fresh” as the theme for this month’s blogs and recipes, that idea would not last long in the midst of a global pandemic when fresh produce is not a necessity, but a desire. Being a food-lover has definitely made it harder to accept that my meals are not as satisfying as they used to be. It feels like I’m on a continuous episode of Chopped where I’m asked to put something together on a whim.

In comparison to the other problems that people are facing — such as parents struggling to feed their children nutritious options, people losing their jobs because businesses are forced to close, or the elderly struggling to keep-up with panic shoppers, making a little homemade soup with what you have should be seen as a positive challenge rather than an annoyance.

This roasted tomato soup uses less than 10 ingredients, takes a very short amount of time to prep, cook, and have on the dinner table. Bonus — I’ve added the option to make crispy lil herb croutons to go with!

INGREDIENTS

SOUP

  • 4-5 large tomatoes, or 8-10 if medium, cut in chunky slices
  • 1/2 white onion, rough chop
  • 6 cloves of garlic, rough chop
  • 2-3 cups of vegetable stock/chicken stock/water works too!
  • 1/4 cup of brown sugar, for added sweetness
  • 1/3 cup of heavy cream/half ‘n’ half
  • Oregano, salt and pepper, olive oil
  • Grated Parmesan for garnish

HERB CROUTONS

  • 2-3 slices of regular toast bread / any bread you have, roughly torn
  • Salt, pepper, olive oil
  • Dried herb of your choice — rosemary and thyme work great!

1. Start by preheating the oven to 400°F and lining two sheet tray with parchment paper. Place the chunky slices of tomato in rows and drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper, and a sprinkle of dried oregano. Bake the tomatoes for 45 minutes until the edges are brown and roasted, no need to flip while they cook.

2. Around the 30 minute mark on the oven, you can start preparing the aromatics of the soup. In a medium frying pan on medium heat, saute onions and garlic together until translucent. Season with salt and pepper and mix. Next, add the brown sugar to the pan and allow it to coat the mixture and cook for a few minutes — make sure to keep stirring since the sugar might harden to the bottom of the pan.

3. Next, add vegetable or chicken stock, bring to a simmer for the rest of the time on the oven. While waiting, you can prepare the croutons. Begin by tearing away scraggly rustic bite sized pieces from the bread and lay them flat on another baking tray. Drizzle with a good amount of olive oil, salt and pepper, and any dried herbs such as basil, rosemary or thyme. Place off to the side.

4. Remove the tomatoes from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes. In the mean time, place the croutons in the oven at the same temperature and set a timer for 10-12 minutes. Toss every few minutes to ensure they don’t burn. Set to side until ready to use.

5. Place the tomatoes into a high-powered blender and add the mixture of onions, garlic and half of the stock. Depending on how liquidy you’d like your soup to be as a final product, add less stock. Puree the soup until smooth, stop to add the cream, and blend until consistency is up to your liking. Also season to your taste.

6. Serve up with some sprinkled parmesan on top, a little extra black pepper, and those crispy herb croutons & bon appetit!

I hope all of you stay safe, stay positive, and remember that this obstacle is making the world stronger.
Peace and good eats,
A

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