This soup is designed to let the fresh tomato and pepper flavors shine.
Dear food geek: I have so many tomatoes in my garden this season. I am looking for some recipes to use them up. -S.B. in Portland.
One of my favorite ways to use up extra produce is to turn it into a soup. I usually make a double or triple batch and freeze it.
But I have found that most from-scratch tomato soups fall a bit flat, which is a huge disappointment when using your own garden-fresh tomatoes. This recipes makes for a full flavored soup:
- Roasted vegetables concentrate the flavor and coax out some sweetness
- Peppers also contribute to a slightly more complex flavor, but they don’t outshine the tomatoes.
- Sweet paprika makes it more interesting too.
This doubles and triples well, making it perfect for freezing.
- 1-2 Tbsp olive oil for roasting
- 6-8 tomatoes large (see note)
- 1 red or orange bell pepper
- 1 yellow onion
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1/2 tsp sweet paprika
- 2 1/2 cups vegetable stock
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/2 cup almond milk or heavy cream
- 2 ounces Parmesan cheese
- 8 basil leaves
- salt and pepper
- PREP WORK: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Quarter the tomatoes, bell pepper, and onions. Toss with olive oil and season with salt, pepper and paprika. Smash the garlic cloves.
- ROAST VEGGIES:Toss tomatoes, bell pepper, and onions on 1 very large baking sheet, or 2 medium ones. Don’t crowd the vegetables or they will steam more than roast.Roast for 5-10 minutes and then add the smashed garlic cloves to the baking sheet. Roast another 15-25 minutes, stirring half way through. You want to take them out when they are soft and starting to caramelize. If some finish early, take them off the sheet, set aside, and continue to roast the rest.
- MAKE THE SOUP:Add the roasted veggies to a large stock pot. Pour in the vegetable stock and add the sugar. Then bring to a boil. Using an immersion blender, blend until smooth.Taste the soup. Add almond milk or heavy cream, adding more if you prefer it that way 🙂 Add more salt, pepper, or paprika if you want.Strain if you want a silky smooth soup (I usually skip this).
- GARNISH & SERVEGarnish with basil leaves and shaved Parmesan cheese.
Recipe tips & tricks
- Acidity – tomatoes can get pretty acidic, although this varies between tomato varieties. Sugar balances that out. If your soup still tastes too acidic, add more sugar.
- Almond milk vs milk vs heavy cream: honestly, they all work. I often use almond milk, which doesn’t make it taste nutty. Sometimes I add in a Tbsp of butter at the end if I want more richness (which I don’t do if I use heavy cream).
- Double or triple it: Just make sure to have enough trays for roasting the vegetables, as a crowded tray of watery tomatoes will end up steaming more than roasting.
- Why wait to add garlic cloves? Do this so they don’t burn, and keep an eye on them, removing them early if they start to brown.
- Grill / charred: You could also grill the peppers to char the outside and add a smoky flavor.
Roasted tomato soup inspiration
After trying several from-scratch tomato soups, the one from Mr. Wilkinson’s cookbook was the winner.
I only changed two things – I used only 1 yellow onion instead of two. If you want to follow the recipe from the cookbook, use 2. The cookbook also suggests almond milk, heavy cream, or half and half.
I also added the sugar, since I had very acidic tomatoes. Feel free to leave it out and taste as you go, adding it only if it is needed.
Other recipes that I plan to make from this cookbook:
- Baked peppers, stuffed with couscous and currants
- Roasted Romesco sauce
- Geranium-blueberry rice pudding