Yesterday the boys and Mike and I went to every farm stand from our house to New York where we landed at a farmer’s market in Warwick. I picked up the most delicious garlic, basil and tomatoes. I had acquired fresh arugula, onions and thyme as we crawled north together, so this recipe rounded out nicely for lunch today.
This is Ina’s recipe which has never failed me. I’m not going to fix something that is far from broken, so I left it as is. Though I did add some croutons, arugula and parmesan crisps for toppings. If that’s a bit much for you, you can do what pleases you. I just had to use the seeded sourdough bread that I got yesterday for the croutons. How could I not? It was amazing and would be even better as croutons in this soup.
I understand tomato soup is a personal thing. Some people like to make it creamy, others prefer to add some texture. Either way, it’s fresh and sweet and light yet fills and warms your belly with all things delicious on a rainy summer day. There’s something about a perfect soup on a cool and rainy Monday that just makes all things right as rain again.
- 3 pounds ripe plum tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons good olive oil
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups chopped yellow onions (2 onions)
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 (28-ounce) canned plum tomatoes, with their juice
- 4 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1 quart chicken stock or water
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Toss together the tomatoes, 1/4 cup olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread the tomatoes in 1 layer on a baking sheet and roast for 45 minutes.
In an 8-quart stockpot over medium heat, saute the onions and garlic with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the butter, and red pepper flakes for 10 minutes, until the onions start to brown. Add the canned tomatoes, basil, thyme, and chicken stock. Add the oven-roasted tomatoes, including the liquid on the baking sheet. Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for 40 minutes. Pass through a food mill fitted with the coarsest blade. Taste for seasonings. Serve hot or cold.