Roasted Tomato Soup
Tomatoes are not at their tastiest in wintertime when they’re transported across the country to make it onto DC shelves. Roasting brings out some of the natural sweetness and reduces cooking time over the stove. Serve this soup with at a do-it-yourself soup bar with white or brown rice, shredded cheese, grilled cheese sandwiches or Brazilian pão de queijo (cheese bread), crushed tortilla chips and minced cilantro or parsley.
- 3 pounds tomatoes (about 12 medium)
- 2 small onions
- 1 head of garlic
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil plus more for drizzling
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 4 frozen basil cubes (I like the Dorot ones) or 2 teaspoons dried basil
- 4 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 2 cups water
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Wash the tomatoes, peel the onions and cut both into wedges, about 6 to 8 each. Spread the half the tomatoes and onions on each tray, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle generously with salt and pepper and toss around with your hands. Peel the outer layers off the garlic. Cut the top of the head of garlic off, about ¼ to ½-inch down, exposing the cloves. Wrap the head in foil and set it on one of the trays. Put the two trays in the oven and roast for 25-30 minutes, until onions start to brown and tomatoes have shrunken down. Remove from oven and let cool.
- Heat 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the roasted tomatoes and onions. Remove the foil from the head of garlic and squeeze 2 or 3 roasted cloves into the pot. Save the rest in the refrigerator for homemade sandwich spreads, dips, soups or other dishes. Add the basil, tomato paste and sugar to the pot. Stir to combine. Pour in the broth and water, cover and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from heat and blend with an immersion blender or cool completely and blend in batches in a food processor or blender. Reheat before serving.