New York is having a surprisingly chilly week, so we've been craving comfort foods, like tomato soup with a gooey grilled cheese sandwich. There's nothing cozier and more bolstering on a cool day, or a lazy Sunday evening at home, don't you agree? Luckily, Helene from Tartelette has agreed to share her recipe for the perfect warm-you-up-and-hit-the-spot tomato soup...
The Best Roasted Tomato Soup
With Tomato Parmesan Croutons
By Helene from Tartelette
Home is Provence. Even if I left France over fourteen years ago, my ex-pat heart still calls it home. Home is also where my actual heart resides, and right now it is Charleston, South Carolina. I might have uprooted myself for the love of a man, but I have adapted to this new life by keeping certain family and cultural traditions alive at home. They always bring me back to earth. One of them is to start dinner with a bowl of soup.
My days can go from very calm to completely hectic, and if there is soup that I can reheat when lunch comes around, then I know I can go on working all day without hearing my stomach talk in another octave.
I usually make a big batch of soup in the evening while I am cooking our dinner. Without being fancy, soups are incredibly satisfying and easy to fix when hunger strikes at lunchtime. As a food photographer, I either work in my studio or on location, and a thermos of soup is easy to grab in the morning before I head out.
This soup is one my husband asked me to recreate after one of our favorite restaurants closed a few years into our marriage. Their tomato soup was legendary around town. Without a recipe, I went about roasting a bunch of tomatoes one day, adding onion, garlic and herbs, and the final soup, although different than the one we remembered, became our new favorite.
Roasting vegetables is one of my favorite ways to eat them. It brings out the most of their flavors and their natural sweetness. For guests or a date night, I garnish each bowl of soup with what I call "tomato parmesan croutons"--thin simple slices of tomatoes, topped with herbs and parmesan and broiled until golden brown. And delicious.
Recipe: The Best Roasted Tomato Soup With Tomato Parmesan Croutons
2 pounds fresh tomatoes
4 garlic cloves (skin on)
4 small Vidalia onions, cut in half (or 2 regular onions)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons dried basil
2-4 cups water (depending on how thin/thick you like your soup)
Salt and pepper to taste
For the tomato parmesan croutons:
8 to 12 large cherry tomatoes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon grated parmesan
Fresh oregano to garnish
Preheat the oven to 400F.
Slice the tomatoes in halves and place them on a baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil.
Place the garlic cloves and onion halves on a separate baking sheet and drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
Place both baking sheets in the oven and roast the vegetables until soft, about 20 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let cool.
Peel the skin off the garlic cloves and place with the rest of the vegetables, in a food processor. Add about 2 cups of water and puree until smooth. Add more water to reach your preferred consistency. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper if desired.
For the tomato parmesan croutons:
Turn your oven broiler on high.
Thinly slice the cherry tomatoes (I usually get 3 slices per tomato) and layer on a baking sheet line with parchment paper. Sprinkle evenly with the dried oregano and parmesan. Broil for about 1 minute or until the parmesan starts to get golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
To serve, place the soup in a large saucepan and re-heat quickly over medium heat right before serving. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with the tomato parmesan croutons. Enjoy!
Delicious!! Thank you SO much, Helene! We're making this for dinner tonight! :)
P.S. More best simple recipes, including banana bread with bourbon and chocolate-chip cookies...
(Photos by Helene. Thanks to Shoko for help with this series.)