For years, I've avoided tomato soup. I think it's because I had the canned version once as a child and instantly knew that wasn't going to happen again. Even as I got older and my culinary tastes started to change, I never willingly sought out or tried tomato soup again. However, about 2 years ago, I was at a little soup and sandwich place and for some reason, their tomato bisque sounded tasty to me. So I tried it, and guess what? I loved it. It was absolutely delicious, and since then, I've had it multiple times at a few different places.
I usually have a counter overflowing with produce in my kitchen. Unless I'm using it right away, it'll typically languish there until I realize it's close to being past prime. This morning, I noticed some gorgeous red tomatoes that were just perfectly soft. There was no way I was going to eat 2 1/2 pounds in a day, so I decided to make some soup.
Roasting the tomatoes adds such a lovely base to this soup, and quite frankly, couldn't be easier! The rest of the ingredients are so simple that this soup is a snap to make. It can be served hot or cold, depending on your mood or menu. This is also a great healthy recipe, as there is absolutely almost no fat, other than the few tbsp of olive oil.
Roasted Tomato Soup
2 1/2 pounds tomatoes, cored and cut in half
3-4 cloves garlic, peeled and cut in half
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 c chopped red onion
1/2 tsp crushed fennel seed
2 c vegetable broth
1/4 c chopped fresh basil leaves
Preheat oven to 450. In a 9x13 pan, place tomatoes, cut side up. Drizzle with 2 tbsp olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in oven and bake for 40-45 minutes, until starting to brown. Remove from oven and set aside.
In large stockpot, heat remaining 1 tbsp of oil over medium high heat. Add onion and saute for 8 minutes. Add fennel and saute for another minute or two, until onion is soft. Add tomatoes and broth to soup and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes, uncovered. Remove from heat, taste, and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Add basil. Puree soup with an immersion blender until creamy.