After a long day battling the cold air, rain and traffic I love making it home to a warm house, my wife and the prospect a delicious dinner. Sometimes I make it more elaborate than others and other times I make it more elaborate than needed. When my energy is low and my time is limited I turn to a hot bowl of heaven.
Roasted Tomato and Basil Soup with Parmesan Crisps settles the last of every debate in my mind. It has everything my body and soul and palette requests on days like these. Times like these. A flavour profile that competes with any soup I’ve ever made and a richness and subtlety that creeps up on you and fills your every sense. Tonight, it’s my meal and retreat. Simple and yet it doesn’t lack a single thing.
I’ve professed my love of soups for a while now, but the one that has my heart and the one I seek out during the longer, darker and cooler days of fall is tomato soup. It has that silky yet chunky texture that every great soup has. I’ve made countless varieites but this is the one that had me saying, “This is the keeper!” My own holy grail of roasted tomato soups. I hope you enjoy it half as much as I do.
Roased Tomato and Basil Soup:
2 lbs. of fresh tomatoes, plum and heirlooms
1 can of whole plum tomaotes, with juice
2 small vidalia onions, sliced
6 garilc cloves, peeled
1/2 cup Extra-Virgin olive oil
kosher salt & fresh black pepper
4 cups chicken broth
3 bay leaves
3 tbsp. unsalted butter
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
Parmesan crisps (optional, for garnish)
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Core and cut the tomatoes in halves. Spread the tomatoes and garlic with a drizzle of olive oil on a baking sheet. Season. Roast for 25 minutes, until caramelized.
2. Using a large pot, caramelize the onion with oil until soft. Remove the roasted tomatoes and the garic and place in the pot. Add in any roasting liquid from the baking sheet and 3 cups of the chicken broth, the bay leaves and butter. Add the canned tomatoes and the juice. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer for 25 minutes, until the liquid has reduced by a third and you have the desired consistency.
3. Remove and dispose of the bay leaves. Add the chopped basil and puree the soup with a handheld blender until smooth. Return to a low heat and add the cream and check consistency and add more broth, if necessary. Season to taste and ladle soup into the bowls. If you wish, garnish each bowl with a Parmesan crisp and basil leaves.
4. To make Parmesan crisps, grate Parmesan and place 1 tablespoon mixture on a parchment lined baking sheet and pat down into a round shape. Place in 325 degree oven until golden and bubbly. Garnish on soup.