Butter makes everything delicious. We know this, you and I. We may not like it, but it is the truth. Had I thought of putting it in soup? Nope, that idea is all Tyler Florence’s.
Tyler and I haven’t gotten along so well before. There was a mediocre stew and then there was a time that he totally misled me. Built me up and then disappointed me. Heartbreaking truly. So here is what happened – I was watching that show Best Thing I Ever Ate on Food Network and he talked about a White Chocolate Pretzel Spread from a place out in California. Then he mentioned that you can mail order it. Let’s not discuss what I, all the way in Canada, ended up paying for it because Daddy Jafri (wonderful man, my buddy, and no wastrel) would not be proud. Let’s discuss instead how disappointing it was. Sigh. I could not taste much of much.
It’s okay Tyler, I forgive you. It is your soup you see, or rather my version of your soup. And the butter.
Anyway, to get back on track if you want this soup to be over-the-top-good then I would suggest straining it through a sieve because that will give it a beautiful silky smooth texture. Also if you do plan to freeze it then add the cream whenever you warm it again, makes things easier. My current stock of red chili flakes is quite spicy so Zara (after consuming 1 ½ bowl) informed me that it was too spicy. Feel free to add chili flakes later in the game or not at all depending on what you prefer.
Roasted Tomato Soup
2 ½ pounds fresh tomatoes – I used Plum
6 cloves garlic, peeled
2 small yellow onions, sliced
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
900ml veggie broth
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons butter
⅓ cup chopped fresh basil leaves, optional
1 sprig thyme – remove leaves, discard stems
¼ tsp red chilli flakes
½ tsp sugar
Optional add in:
½ cup cream
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Wash, core and cut the tomatoes into halves. Coring them thoroughly will help them caramelize. Otherwise you may end up with a soppy mess, but no worries, soppy messes can also be delicious. Spread the tomatoes, garlic cloves and onions onto a baking tray lined with foil (easier clean up). Drizzle with ½ cup of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 20 to 30 minutes, or until caramelized. In my oven this process took closer to 40 minutes. Go figure.
Remove roasted tomatoes, garlic and onion from the oven and transfer to a large stock pot. Add ¾ of the veggie broth, bay leaves, and butter. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until liquid has reduced by a third.
Add red chili flakes, sugar, basil and thyme to the pot. Remove the bay leaves. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup until smooth. Now strain the soup if that is your thing. Return soup to low heat and adjust consistency with broth, if necessary. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Remove from heat and add cream (if using).
Have it with the traditional grilled cheese sandwich, or just let your tot slurp it from a bowl (who needs spoons) while the bread just hangs out there. Too spicy she says. Pfft.