Tomato soup is one of the creature comforts of my childhood. On a cold day nothing beat a warm bowl of Campbell’s tomato soup and Mom’s grilled cheese sandwich. I may have moved on from relying on a classic can of Campbell’s but I also don’t eat dairy so that means unless I make it from scratch at home I don’t get to enjoy this classic. Not a bad thing, especially when you see how simple this recipe really is, but it took me 20 years to decide to finally try this on my own. Oven-roasted tomatoes, onion and garlic and fresh herbs, and a jalapeño if you’re feeling a bit feisty, create the richest smells coming from the oven and can be done in less than two hours. Don’t let the time deter you from trying this gem. It’s not even 20 minutes of hands-on time so it’s an easy recipe to pop in the oven and go about some other meal prepping or bill paying or, let’s be a bit more positive and go play a game with the kids while you wait. It’ll seem like no time before you’re transported back to the simple days of childhood memories. Elevated of course, with the richness of herbs and jalapeño!
3-4 lbs. tomatoes (I like Romas), rinsed and quartered
1 yellow onion, peeled and quartered
1/2 to 1 head garlic, cloves divided but not peeled
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1-2 sprigs fresh oregano
3-5 sprigs fresh thyme
6-8 cups chicken broth or water (homemade broth makes this divine!)
2-3 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 jalapeño, optional
- In a large roasting pan, or shallow 8 quart pot, place all vegetables and herbs and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper and toss to coat evenly.
- Roast in 350° oven for 45 minutes or until vegetables start to brown.
- Except for garlic cloves and herbs, transfer contents of roasting pan to soup pot. Let herbs cool enough to pull off the stems and add to the pot. When garlic is cool enough to touch squeeze cloves out of the skin into the pot. Add half of the broth and simmer for about 15 minutes.
- Using an immersion blender, blend soup to desired consistency. If too thick and/or chunky add some more chicken broth and continue blending until desired consistency is achieved. Add salt and pepper to taste if needed.
- Optional toppings include basil (my favorite), crushed red pepper (if the jalapeño doesn’t kick enough), pecorino romano or parmesan cheese, soft goat cheese or feta, or sour cream.
*If you do not have an immersion blender, you can blend in batches in a food processor or blender. I have found my immersion blender to be invaluable in the kitchen and one of the best gadgets I have invested in. You can find a newer version of mine here (I receive no compensation).