If your gardens are behaving anything like ours is, then you are probably smothered in tomatoes. Every day we get a big basket of veggies from the garden, and right now we are benefitting from some of our neighbors being out of town for three weeks. We’ve been invited to enjoy their garden in their absence. It’s a fun daily walk up to their house to discover what we’ll get to take. It’s insane how much we are harvesting!
We love tomatoes. We eat them plain, still warm from the sun. We make salsa, bruschetta, marinara sauce, salads, and anything else you can think of. My latest favorite is a spicy roasted tomato and basil soup. It’s a foolproof soup that tastes like liquid summertime. I’m always getting compliments on it, so I thought I would share my recipe. It’s so easy a caveman could do it.
First, collect all the tomatoes you want. This is an especially good way to use those tomatoes that are getting a little wrinkly. Here’s the best part. You can slice them if you want. You can leave them whole if you want. You can use large tomatoes or small tomatoes or a combination of both. You don’t need to peel them and you don’t need to take out the seeds. It’s as simple as pulling tomatoes off the vines and throwing them into a roasting pan. I’m using my favorite, well-seasoned Pampered Chef stoneware pan that has been loved for years and years.
I did end up slicing up some of my tomatoes, but it’s a completely optional step. Next, I added some more veggies. I used the following: two small onions, complete with greens; five cloves of garlic, whole; a jalapeno, seeds included; two cayenne peppers, seeds included; avocado oil, drizzled liberally; a splash of red or white wine, whatever is leftover (yes, occasionally there is some leftover); and of course salt and pepper. I just give everything a rough chop, if I feel like it. Sometimes I do; sometimes I don’t. It may or may not correspond to exactly how much wine is leftover.
Now, I like this soup spicy. If you don’t like spicy soup then I would recommend seeding the hot peppers or leaving them out completely. You could substitute chili powder or cayenne pepper flakes if you don’t have whole peppers, or even add those spices to individual bowls after the soup is done to customize the spice for each person.
Once the veggies are seasoned and ready, throw the whole thing in the oven at 400 degrees until the tomatoes are wrinkled and soggy-looking. Then add a handful of fresh basil leaves and return it to the oven for another 8-10 minutes.
Now here comes the best part. Dump the entire contents of your baking pan into a good blender, splash in a little half and half or heavy cream, and blend the heck out of it. I have a Vitamix blender, so it completely pulverizes the hot pepper seeds. This increases the heat by distributing the oil throughout the soup. If you don’t want it to kick your butt, then either remove those seeds or don’t blend it to death.
Some additional or alternate ingredients you could add would be parmesan cheese, oregano or thyme, sherry instead of wine, banana or bell peppers instead of jalapeno and cayenne, sour cream instead of half and half, or leeks instead of onions.
Once the soup is blended you should have a creamy, delicious, spicy soup that smells and tastes like summertime. I’ve eaten it hot with toast, crackers, or a grilled cheese, or served it cold as a dip for crostini.
I hope you get a chance to try this recipe, and if you do I hope you comment and tell me how you like it. I’d love to hear about any changes you make. I’m always looking for new things to try. Also, please share links to your favorite recipes for tomatoes! We are getting so many already, and the plants are just getting started.
Also, I don’t know if you noticed, but this recipe is also vegetarian! Just an earth-friendly bonus. It’s easily made vegan by substituting the half and half for something non-dairy like a soft tofu. I wouldn’t try to swap it for soy or almond milk, because that would be too thin. But tofu would be perfect!