I am a tomato soup lover, well OK I am a soup lover period but tomato soup is a comfort food that takes me all the way back to my childhood. Tomato soup and grilled cheese, how many people grew up with that? I passed that love on to my children. In our household you better not make a pot of tomato soup with out a grilled cheese to go along side for dunking. I did exactly that for this meal, but I will post the recipe for the mozzarella, pesto, and tomato paninis I made tomorrow.
Back to this soup. I was very excited to see fresh roma tomatoes on sale at my local grocery store. As soon as I saw them I knew what I wanted to do with them, SOUP!! This recipe is adapted from a recipe by Melissa d'arabian. I loved the idea of roasting the tomatoes before using them but I knew I wanted to add my own spin on this recipe. As I have said in the past, we all love a bit of spice here in my household and this recipe begged for some in my opinion. If you are not a lover of heat like we are you can use a pepper with less heat like a cubanelle. I actually think the next time I will try a poblano in place of the jalapeno but that would just be me tinkering again with a recipe that everyone thought was perfect to begin with.
The toughest part of this recipe is being patient. It takes anywhere from 1 1/2 to 2 hours to roast the tomatoes. Once that is done it is a breeze to whip it all together. But the roasting gives this soup such a depth of flavor. You will never go back to canned soup again after you try this. I also suggest making a big batch like this even if you are only feeding a couple of people. Soups freeze so well and make for a very quick meal on nights that you don't feel like putting that much work into dinner.
An added bonus to this soup is that it is a healthy way to make creamy soup minus the cream. Trust me, you will never miss it!!
Roasted Tomato and Pepper Soup
- 16 Roma tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- tablespoon water
- 1 jalapeno pepper (we actually used 2 but that is a lot of heat)
- 1 onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon dried herbes de provence
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 quart chicken stock
- Sour cream or olive oil, for garnish, (optional)
Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a bowl, toss the tomatoes with 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place the tomatoes, cut side down, on the prepared baking sheet and drizzle 2 tablespoons water over the tomatoes. Bake in the oven for 1 hour.
Remove from the oven. Carefully peel off the skins and discard. Flip the tomatoes over so they're cut side up, and place back in the oven until the tomatoes are shriveled but not dry, another 30 to 60 minutes. Remove the tomatoes from the oven and allow to cool slightly.
Coat the pepper with olive oil and roast on a grill, over the eye of a gas stove, or in a broiler, turning occasionally to blacken it on all sides. Once the pepper is roasted place it in a bowland cover with plastic wrap and allow to cool slightly. Once cooled peel the blackened skin from the outside of the pepper (it is OK to still have some black remaining it gives more of the smoky roasted flavor to the soup), remove the ribs and seeds.
Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, saute the onion in the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil over low heat until very soft, 10 to 12 minutes. Add the garlic and herbes de provence and cook until fragrant, another 1 to 2 minutes. Add the cup of white wine and allow the alcohol to cook off, a couple of minutes. Add the stock and bring to a simmer. Simmer 15 minutes.
In a blender, puree the tomatoes (including any cooking liquid on the baking sheet), pepper, and stock mixture until very smooth. You may need to work in batches (or add blended tomatoes and pepper to the pot and use an immersion blender to get to the desired consistency, which is what I used). If using a blender, pour the soup back into the saucepan, season with salt and pepper, and heat gently. To serve, ladle into cups or bowls and top with either a swirl of olive oil or a little sour cream, if desired.