Yesterday was cold and dreary and rainy. So it was “let’s make a bunch of soups to freeze and enjoy all winter long” day. (Also, maybe being on my feet in the kitchen all day and smelling all the goods will convince babe that this world is just fine, and it should come enjoy it all with us!)
This delicious soup comes courtesy of Ina Garten via my dear friend Chelsea. Chelsea loves all things tomatoes and basil, so this just suits her. And I owe her a whole lot for bringing this into my life, because it has become a cold-weather staple in our house!
This soup can be tweaked in a bunch of ways, depending on your tastes. If you like a little more kick, add more red pepper. If you can’t handle any spice, cut that part out. If you want a little sweetness, add a bit of sugar. If you want to bring in more spices (rosemary, thyme, oregano), go for it. It’s simple enough that you can make it exactly what you want it to be! Or, if you’re like me, it will just happen to turn out a little different every time, and that is just fine!
Make sure you serve with some delicious toasted bread or grilled cheese, and you are all set!
3 lbs. ripe tomatoes (I use “farmhouse” or “on-the-vine”)
salt and pepper
2 cups chopped yellow onions (2 small or 1 large)
6-8 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 t crushed red pepper flakes (more or less, depending on your taste)
2 T butter plus extra olive oil
1 can (28-oz) canned tomatoes, with juice (I use whole or sliced, stewed)
4 c fresh basil leaves
1 t rosemary
4 c (1 quart) vegetable stock
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Slice tomatoes in half lengthwise and spread out on a baking sheet.
- Toss tomatoes in olive oil, salt, and pepper.
- Roast tomatoes for 45 minutes.
While tomatoes are roasting …
- In a large stockpot, saute the onions, garlic, and red pepper flakes with butter and olive oil for 10 minutes, until the onions start to brown.
- Add the canned tomatoes, basil, rosemary and vegetable stock.
- Add the roasted tomatoes – make sure to get all the liquid and “extras” on the baking sheet!
- Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for 40 minutes.
- Pour everything into a blender or food processor and pulse until you reach a desired consistency (I usually need to do this in two parts).