It is that time of the year again when the days are getting so short that you barely get a glimpse of daylight. Most of us are on the way to work before the sun rises and it is almost gone when we make our way home. If I had the choice I would just follow the lead of bears and go into hibernation. Curl up under blankets and set the alarm to spring, how lovely would that be! Sadly I can’t do that so I am trying my best to brighten the days with colorful food, warm soups and stews. This rich, roasted tomato soup does not only add a fun splash of colour to your dinner table but it is packed with flavor and vitamin C, potassium and vitamin K.
In my opinion this is one of the most underrated soups in terms of its taste and the most overrated at the same time when it comes down to how hard it is to cook. Roasted tomato soup has such a beautifully rich flavour that it doesn’t need anything else next to it. The soup is a perfectly balanced meal on its own, though if you want to then you can of course serve it with a rustic slice of bread. I tend to eat mine with a few fresh leaves of basil just to add another colour.
Talking about colour, if you never made this one from scratch don’t be alarmed by its orange hue. Tomato soup is in fact more orange than red in colour. The store-bought versions that appear red are actually coloured red by adding natural or synthetic food dyes. If you want yours to be as red as the vegetable itself you can cheat by using added paprika powder or beetroot powder however I see no reason for doing so.
A good roasted tomato soup should only contain a few ingredients and is so very easy to make. As you can see I have a wild mix of tomatoes in my tray but you should preferably use plum tomatoes. Even though they give a better flavour I tend to make this soup when I need to use up a random mix of left over ones in the fridge. Once you decided on the tomatoes it’s as simple as it gets. Just whip out a baking tray or dish and fill it with tomatoes, onions, garlic, oil and whatever seasoning you prefer and place it in the oven.
I find that the hardest element of this recipe is waiting for the tomatoes to be done. The scent of roasted garlic and tomatoes is so delicious that I struggle with the wait but it is more than worth it. Don’t worry if you got a slightly charred tomato here or there. The only thing you should care about is to peel the onion, the garlic and take the stalks out if you do not want to strain the soup through a mesh sieve.
I always strain the soup so I keep the garlic in the peel and just take the stalks out if I put tomatoes on the vine into the tray. Give it a good blend and add the vegetable stock a good pinch of red pepper or chili flakes, if you want. That really is all that’s there to it. Roasted tomato soup, so delicious and oh so simple to make.
- 1 kg (2 lb) tomatoes, preferably plum tomatoes
- 3 shallots or ½ small onion
- 6 cloves of garlic
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 sprigs oregano or ¼ tsp dried oregano
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- 500ml (2 cups) vegetable stock.
- ¼ tsp red pepper flakes or chili (optional)
- Preheat oven to 190°C (375°F).
- Cut the tomatoes in half. Peel the shallots and halve them, if you use half an onion then quarter it. Don't peel the garlic for now or it will burn and turn bitter.
- Carefully mix the tomatoes, shallots and garlic with the oil, vinegar, herbs and seasoning in a baking tray or dish. Turn as many tomatoes upside down as you can so that the cut side faces downwards.
- Bake everything for 40 minutes at 190°C (375°F).
- Add the vegetable stock with the roasted vegetables to a blender and process everything until it is perfectly smooth. Strain before serving.
- Should you prefer a more rustic soup then squeeze the garlic out of its peel and remove any stalks and twigs that were added with the tomatoes and the fresh oregano before blending just enough to combine everything.