There are certain tastes and smell we associate with fall.
Comfort foods come to mind. Pies, stews, chili, soup. Warm things.
Like tomato soup with a hot melted grilled cheese sandwich dunked in, am I right?
Oh, now we’re talking!
But, tomatoes certainly aren’t on their A-game during the winter. And is it me or do supermarket tomatoes just not cut in anymore? Ever since I started buying my tomatoes at farmers markets, I just can’t go back. There is something about biting into a standard supermarket tomato that just tastes so….fake and flavorless.
The ones I get from the farmers market are just so PERFECT. I eat those multi-colored cherry tomatoes like they’re Starbursts or M&Ms – one right after the next. Can’t stop won’t stop!
But, I will be totally real with you. These tomatoes you see below are the ones I used to make this soup and they are just your average supermarket tomatoes.
Since you need 3 pounds of tomatoes for this recipe, this was a much less expensive option. Also, when it comes to this soup, it doesn’t really matter. Why?
Because I roasted them in the oven for a solid hour first to bring out all of their yummy flavor and juices.
This gave the soup such a great richness.
Oh, and an added bonus? This soup is completely dairy free. No heavy cream here, people!
Now for the grilled cheese: get creative. I made mine with fresh Pumpernickel bread and thick slices of creamy English Cheddar. I think a multi-cheese combo would have taken this to the next level…especially if some caramelized onions were involved. Boy, oh boy!
As a matter of fact, now I think I know what I am having for dinner tonight…
Homemade Roasted Tomato Soup
3lbs. tomatoes (most kinds will do, but not cherry or grape tomatoes), cut in half
1-2 Tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
6 medium garlic cloves, wrapped together in foil
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme (or 1 teaspoon fresh)
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3.5 cups low-sodium chicken broth
Salt and Pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spread the tomatoes on the baking sheet, cut side up. Sprinkle with the olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper (I used about 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper). Place the garlic (wrapped in foil) on the baking sheet as well. Roast in the oven for about an hour (my tomatoes were big so I left them in there for about 1 hour 15 minutes).
Remove the baking sheet from the oven. Allow the tomatoes and garlic to cool for about 10 minutes. Remove the garlic from the foil and peel the cloves. Place the tomato halves and the garlic in a food processor or blender and pulse for about 15-20 seconds, so the tomato stays chunky.
Pour all ingredients into a medium pot or dutch oven. Add the thyme and red pepper. Then add the chicken broth. Bring to a boil and then allow to simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes. The soup should reduce and thicken. Remove from heat and season to taste.