creamy (or not) roasted tomato soup

Tomato + onion + sweet red pepper + roasting = deliciousness.  

Here we are enjoying the final days of the summer season. That translates to a plentiful amount of fresh tomatoes, right? I know it’s been wicked hot lately, so the thought of soup may not be on your mind. But believe me on this one …when those end-of-summer tomatoes are roasted along with a few companions, the outcome is awesome. Totally worth heating up that oven.  

creamy (or not) roasted tomato soup

Let’s make this as carefree as we can. Be sure to fully line your rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. The veggies will caramelize quite a bit. That’s a good thing …the more they caramelize, the deeper the flavor. With the parchment paper in place, clean up will be a breeze.

creamy (or not) roasted tomato soupcreamy (or not) roasted tomato soup

While the tomato medley is roasting, prepare the garlic cloves. They’ll be added to the mix during the last 15 minutes in the oven. While you’re at it, you may as well chop the fresh herbs so they’re ready when it’s time to serve up the goodness.

creamy (or not) roasted tomato soup

After the garlic is added, get the chicken (or vegetable) broth heated up in a large pot or dutch oven.

creamy (or not) roasted tomato soupcreamy (or not) roasted tomato soup

This is where you can decide which blending method you prefer. The roasted tomato mixture can be processed in two batches in your blender, then added to the hot broth to finish up. Alternatively, the roasted veggies can be transferred directly to the hot broth as I’ve done here. Then the entire mixture can be processed using an immersion blender. I’m all about the easiest possible clean-up, so the immersion blender is always my first choice.

creamy (or not) roasted tomato soupcreamy (or not) roasted tomato soupcreamy (or not) roasted tomato soup

Whichever method you choose, you’ll end up with a smooth well-blended full-flavored tomato soup. 

creamy (or not) roasted tomato soup

This soup is delicious just as it is. Light and healthy. If that sounds like what you’re looking for, just add your fresh herbs and dig in.

But maybe you like your tomato soup to be on the creamy side. We’re here to help you with that. You can add some half & half or heavy cream to the pot, tasting as you go until you reach the desired consistency. Or, better yet, serve the soup with the cream on the side. That way everyone can decide how much creaminess they would like.

creamy (or not) roasted tomato soupcreamy (or not) roasted tomato soupcreamy (or not) roasted tomato soup

And don’t forget the topping of croutons. Unless you have some grilled cheese sandwiches handy for dipping. Of course, that wouldn’t be a bad thing.

creamy (or not) roasted tomato soupcreamy (or not) roasted tomato soup

creamy (or not) roasted tomato soup

Roasting brings out the full flavor of the tomatoes. Enjoy as it is. Or add a touch of cream for extra richness.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds plum tomatoes, trimmed & quartered
  • 1 large onion, cut lengthwise into 8 wedges (about 13 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, coarsely chopped (about 3 ounces)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled & halved
  • 5 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • half & half or heavy cream, to finish (optional)
  • croutons, for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.  Fully line two rimmed baking pans with parchment paper.

  2. Arrange the tomatoes, onion, and red bell pepper in a single layer on the lined baking pans.  Drizzle the olive oil over the tomato mixture.  Season with the salt and pepper.

  3. Roast the tomato mixture in the preheated oven for 30 minutes; add the halved garlic.  Continue roasting until the mixture is tender, an additional 15 minutes.

  4. Meanwhile, bring broth to a boil in a large pot or dutch oven.  Reduce heat and simmer, covered.

  5. When ready, place half of the roasted tomato mixture into the blender. Cover and hold lid down; pulse a few times before leaving on to blend until smooth, adding a small amount of the warm broth if extra liquid is needed. Pour pureed tomato mixture into the pot with the broth. Puree remaining half of tomato mixture and add to stock mixture, mixing well. Simmer for 5 minutes until heated through.

  6. Alternatively, the roasted veggies can be transferred directly to the hot broth.  Using an immersion blender, process until the entire mixture is smooth.  Simmer for 5 minutes to be sure it is heated through. 

  7. Stir in the chopped fresh herbs.  For a creamier consistency, add half & half or heavy cream to taste.  Or serve the soup as it is with the cream on the side to be added, if desired, to individual servings.

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