Full of basil and a hint of garlic, this soup will most likely be on you weekly rotation, no matter the season. I garnished this soup with blistered tomato pieces, shaved parmesan and basil. Make ahead and freeze in advance for when you’re in the middle of a no-dinner-in-sight crisis (first world problems), or serve immediately. This soup is the perfect start to a meal, or as a meal in itself. To get that creamy texture, I added in a secret weapon. No cream cheese or heavy/thickened creams are needed.
With tomato soup, you can go the quick route and pour canned tomatoes in a pot and simmer them for 15-20 minutes until they’re soft. Or, you can go the really lazy route, (which I have done on more than 552 occasions), and heat tomato soup directly from a can. The problem with that though is that you don’t know what’s in it, where it’s been and the acid reflux afterwards isn’t worth it.
Then there’s this recipe. Going that extra step and roasting tomatoes along with whole (smashed) garlic cloves on a sheet pan until they’re soft and sweetened naturally with their own juices, develops a natural flavour incomparable to canned soup.
- 1.2 kg | 2½ lbs Roma tomatoes, halved lengthwise
- 600 g | 1¼ lbs Grape (or Cherry) tomatoes, halved lengthwise
- 8 whole cloves garlic, peeled and smashed with the back of a knife
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 red bell pepper (capsicum), deseeded and diced
- 2 potatoes (200 g | 7 oz), diced
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 2 cups lightly packed fresh basil leaves, roughly torn
- Preheat oven to 430°F | 220°C. Place tomatoes on a baking tray with the garlic cloves. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of oil, season with salt and pepper, and roast for about 25 minutes, or until soft and charred on the tops.
- While tomatoes are roasting, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a medium-sized pot/saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, peppers (capsicum) and potato; cook while occasionally stirring, until the onion is transparent and the potatoes begin to crisp on their outer edges (about 6-7 minutes). Stir the tomato paste through the potatoes and onion; pour in the broth/stock; season with extra salt; cover and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to low; simmer for about 15 minutes or until potato is just tender when tested with a fork. Add the tomatoes, garlic and basil to the broth (save 2 tablespoons of basil to use as garnish if you wish); continue to simmer until the basil is just soft (about 2 minutes). Blend soup using a stick blender until smooth.
- Optional: Pour the soup through a strainer or colander to remove any skins and thick tomato pieces, for a textured smoother soup.
- Sprinkle with extra basil, shaved parmesan cheese, and serve with cheesy, crusty bread.