Roasted Tomato Soup

Ah tomatoes. A fruit (yes a fruit) with a subtle sweetness. Tomatoes aren’t sweet, you say? What the eff is she talking about, you demand?

Tomatoes, like many food stuffs, have sugar in them which is released when they are cooked slowly (caramelization). By roasting a tomato you transform it into something beautiful; silken in texture, and paradoxically sweet and savory.My husband hates tomatoes, but loved this soup.

Before I give you the recipe promise me two things:

1. That you won’t put a tomato in the fridge, ever. This makes them mushy and tasteless very quickly.
2. if you have the opportunity to try or grow heirloom tomatoes, do it!

Roasted Tomato Soup

Roasted Tomatoes –

I used about 10 med. field tomatoes, but you could use twice as many of Roma, or whatever floats your boat.

Remove hard cores of tomatoes and quarter. Place skin side down on foil lined baking sheet.

Drizzle with olive oil, a little balsamic vinegar if you like, a tiny bit of sugar, salt and pepper, and your favourite fresh or dried herbs (I used thyme, rosemary, and oregano).

Add a few cloves of peeled (whole) garlic.

Bake for 1 hour or so at 350 f, or longer at a lower temperature. Remove the garlic after an hour and set aside. Tomatoes will be collapsed, slightly charred, and caramelized looking when done

Soup-

In a pan saute a small minced onion and a few minced shallots

Add some basil leaves and cook on low for a min.

Add the tomatoes and roasted garlic back in and a few cups of chicken, veg. broth, or water

Season with salt, pepper, and more herbs if you like.

Simmer for 20 min.

Mix with a hand blender.

Serve with crusty bread.

Easy Butternut Squash or Roasted Carrot Soup

If you keep a few boxes of chicken or vegetable stock on hand, this recipe is a great backup for nights there is no meat in the house and squash (or roasted carrots) are easily accessible. Adapted from Alton Brown’s squash soup.

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1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and chopped in pieces, or 8 washed carrots with tops and bottoms chopped off

1 carton/box of chicken or veg. broth

1 shallot, quartered

1 small onion, quartered

2 cloves of garlic, halved

1 quartered sweet pepper, any colour (optional)

1-2 pieces of celery (with leaves if possible)

3 slices of fresh Ginger, minced (or if you freeze yours 3/4 tsp or so of ginger, grated) or 1/2 tsp. ground ginger

3 tablespoons of olive oil

3 tablespoons of honey

2 tablespoons  butter

1/4 tsp. Nutmeg

Fresh cracked pepper and salt

2 tsps. spice mix (roasting spice, or mix of thyme, rosemary, oregano, and onion powder)

1/4 cup heavy cream (or you can go as low as 10% if you need to)

Dollop of creme fresh or grated Parmesan (opt)

Chopped chives, parsley, or candied pecans (for garnish)

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 f.

In roasting pan combine onions, shallots, squash or carrots, sweet pepper, garlic, and celery. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper, roasting spices, honey, ginger, and dab with butter.

Roast for 45 min

You want there to be a nice browning/caramelization but not too soft.

STOVETOP: Transfer to sauce pan (or use dutch oven for entire recipe) and pour in broth. Bring to a boil over high then reduce to medium and simmer 30 min-1 hour. Use hand blender to blend either completely or leave some lumps for texture. Temper cream by adding a little bit of the soup to the cream slowly until it is heated to the temp. of the soup then add all the cream.

CROCKPOT: Transfer to crock pot and pour in broth. Cook for 4-6 hours on low or 2-4 hours on high. Use hand blender to blend either completely or leave some lumps for texture. Temper cream by adding a little bit of the soup to the cream slowly until it is heated to the temp. of the soup then add all the cream.

Serve hot with the optional garnishes with crusty bread or honey cornbread and salad.  Makes great leftovers.

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