roasted heirloom tomato soup


I kind of can't believe I haven't shared this simple soup recipe yet. As soon as our kitchen counters are covered in tomatoes, I make it nearly weekly. It only has a handful of ingredients, all magically (hmmm?) in season at the same time. And I know, soup in the summer time seems a little funny. But it's too good to hold off until a more soup-appropriate season. Besides that you won't find a good tomato in November, not even in New Jersey. And unless you're moving nearly 2,000 miles away any day now (present!), it also freezes great. Not that you'll be able to hang onto until it's snowing, but I dare you to try.

For this recipe, you'll need:

2 large shallots, chopped
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1/2 teaspoon oregano, dried or fresh
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons flour (I use whole wheat, but any is fine)
Salt & pepper
4 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
2 pounds heirloom tomatoes (or your favorite variety)
1/4-1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped

Start by preheating your oven to 400 degrees. Slice your tomatoes in half and scoop out some of the seeds. You don't have to get all of them, since keeping them a little hearty makes the soup thicker and creamier. Place on a large baking sheet cut side up and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Drizzle one tablespoon of your olive oil over the top and roast for one hour.

When your tomatoes are nearly done, place a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the rest of your olive oil, shallots and garlic and sauté for about two to three minutes. Add your oregano, a little more salt and pepper and sauté for one minute more. Use some of your stock to deglaze the bottom of the pot (just a little) and then add your flour to thicken the base. At this point you could also add a tablespoon of butter or vegan margarine for a little extra oomph, but this isn't completely necessary. It is, however, delicious, so to each their own. My own includes it.

Stir everything up and then add the rest of your vegetable stock. Bring to a gentle simmer and then add your roasted tomato halves. Simmer for about twenty minutes more. Halfway through this time, add your fresh basil (if you use dried, add it when you first add your tomatoes).

Allow to cool slightly before adding to your blender to purée until smooth. You can also use a handheld blender for this if you'd rather leave some of the texture.

Simple! So simple. And perfect with a little extra herbs on top, some shredded cheese, crusty bread, cheesy-crusty bread, avocado toast or even all on its own. It's the perfect summer lunch.

Soup there it is, you say? Well: