I’m not a health nut. I swear.
But sometimes I enjoy Paleo, vegan, gluten-free meals, and one of my favorites is this roasted tomato soup made from scratch. In college, I often bought those box cartons of soup from Trader Joe’s. Tomato soup was my favorite, and I very often paired it with a grilled cheese sandwich. But I always wanted to make tomato soup from scratch. This soup takes a little more effort than my other recipes, but let me tell you: it’s impressive, decadent, and flavorful, and you’ll be lickin’ your spoon for the next serving. Make this dish for your next fancy schmancy dinner. With a soup like this, your guests will be calling you “Campbell’s” because you are “M…M…Good!”
Corny jokes aside, here’s what you need:
Plum, aka Roma, tomatoes, garlic cloves, dried thyme, salt, pepper, balsamic vinegar, water, and sugar. Ignore the onion in the photo; however, if you want to roast the onion, you can totally do that. Oh, and adjust the rack of your oven to the middle level and preheat that oven to 400 degrees F.
Grab a small knife and remove the stem end. That’s some gnarly stuff that shouldn’t be consumed. Halve the tomatoes from end to end.
Transfer the tomatoes to a large baking pan.
Garlic makes the world go ’round. Peel about 6. If it’s just utterly impossible to peel them, smash them lightly with the side of a knife.
Discard the garlic peel. It’s inedible, and it’s not something you’d like to find in your soup. Keep the garlic clove as “whole” as you can. Notice that I didn’t smash it to smithereens.
Toss in the garlic. Toss everything with some olive oil.
Toss, toss, toss. Toss them tomatoes. (alliterations ftw)
Sprinkle with some salt and pepper.
And some dried thyme. Arrange the tomatoes cut side up and roast for anywhere between 25-50 minutes. It really depends on how large your tomatoes are. Mine were pretty huge, so it took about 50 minutes to roast.
The tomatoes should look like this. Succulent and tender, with the skins kinda sorta shriveled up.
So depending on how long you roast them tomatoes for, you’ll maybe end up with burnt garlic chunks. I highly advise that you discard those pieces. It happens.
Got some tongs? Great, grab them and remove the skin off the tomatoes. If you want a silky smooth soup, tomato skins do not belong in the soup. They’ll peel off like butter.
Like buttah, I said.
Look at all that skin on the left! Discard it all. It’s got the texture of plastic wrap. No bueno.
Toss the tomatoes and roasted garlic in a pot with some water. Heat it over high heat. We’re keepin’ it simple and usin’ water, but you can use vegetable broth. Heck, you can even use chicken broth if you want, but then that wouldn’t be very vegan, would it?
Don’t forget all those roasting juices. Look at that intense tomato flavor. Add that all to the pot. Oh, and if you really wanna multiply some flavors, go ahead and add a few tablespoons of tomato paste to the pot. That’s entirely optional, but it adds magnificent wonders to the soup.
Allow the ingredients to come to a gentle boil, and simmer on medium heat for about 10 minutes. Then add some sugar… this rounds out the acidity of the tomatoes. It’s mucho necessary.
And some balsamic vinegar. This adds a zing, a punch, and a much-needed boost to an otherwise ordinary pot of soup.
Now, it’s time for blending. So I know the soup is super hot, but there’s a way to blend hot soup safely. Transfer all the ingredients to the blender. Put on the lid and make sure the little door on top of the lid is slightly open so the hot steam can escape.
Cover that little steam hole with a towel and place your hand firmly on top. This will prevent any hot explosions in your kitchen. You. Must. Do. This. Otherwise, you will have to let your soup cool down to room temperature before any blending. So please, follow my instructions.
Blend the soup on medium-high speed until it is perfectly smooth. Check that out. The color is a beautiful gazpacho-like hue. I just want to dunk my grilled cheese sandwich in it NOW.
We are almost done. Transfer all the soup back to the pot. Heat up the soup until it simmers again.
Adjust the soup for seasoning. Add more thyme, balsamic, salt, sugar, and pepper, if necessary.
Creamy Roasted Tomato Soup
Total time: 1 hr 5 min
Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 1 hr
Yield: 4 servings
2 pounds tomatoes (about 7-8 large Roma or plum tomatoes)
6 garlic cloves, peeled
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 cups water (substitutes: vegetable broth)
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Grated Parmesan cheese and fresh basil, to garnish
Optional: for a more intense tomato flavor, add 3 tablespoons tomato paste to the soup
Adjust rack of your oven to the middle level and preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Using a small knife, remove stem end of tomatoes. Halve the tomatoes lengthwise, from end to end. Transfer tomatoes to a large baking sheet or pan. Add peeled cloves of garlic to pan. Toss tomatoes and garlic with olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme. Arrange tomatoes cut side up. Roast in oven for anywhere between 25 to 50 minutes, depending on how large tomatoes are, until tomatoes are lightly golden brown, tender, and the skin is falling off. Remove pan from oven, and discard any pieces of burned garlic. Being careful not to burn yourself, use tongs or two forks and remove skin off tomatoes to discard.
In a pot, add water and roasted tomatoes and garlic. Allow pot to come to a gentle boil. If using tomato paste, add now to pot and stir until dissolved. Simmer for 10 minutes and then stir in sugar and balsamic vinegar. Add salt, if desired. Transfer soup to a blender. Taking care not to burn yourself, allow for a small opening on lid of blender so hot steam can escape, and cover the blender lid with a kitchen towel. Hold towel in place while you blend soup on high speed until consistency is smooth. Transfer blended soup back to pot, and bring to a simmer. Add additional seasonings, if desired: 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Once soup comes to a light boil, serve immediately. Garnish with grated cheese and basil, if desired.