Etta James "Sunday Kind of Love" is playing throughout the apartment and the smell of roasting garlic, onions, and tomatoes fills my nose. With a glass of wine in hand, and my very own "Sunday Kind of Love" in the next room, I am in my happy place. This soup will do that to you. The smell will literally intoxicate you, make you forget anything that happened in the day, take you on a mini vacay, you get the idea. It's the kind of soup that when you taste it, it just feels good going down. You just know it is good for you and your soul...yep...tomato soup for the soul.
Go ahead, I know you want to try it. And why not? It really is the easiest soup that your belly (including your waistline) will be very happy about. There really is no sense for me to continue to persuade you, I'm just going to give you the information you need to go to the store and make this today! It really is perfect for lunch or dinner.
- 2 Lbs of Roma Tomatoes (around 12-14 depending on size)
- 2 Small Onions
- 1 Whole Head of Garlic (reduce amount if you aren't a huge garlic fan)
- 2 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 6 Cups of Chicken Stock
- 1 Tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 1/2 Cup Fresh Basil
- Nonfat Greek Yogurt
- Salt and Pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash your tomatoes, slice them in half and remove their seeds and extra juice. Then slice your onions thin, and remove all garlic cloves from their casings and give them a good whack to release all of their perfumes and oils. Layer the tomatoes, onions, and garlic onto a baking sheet and drizzle with the olive oil, and add a liberal amount of salt and pepper. Roast in the oven anywhere between 45 minutes to an hour until the veggies are nice and caramelized. Your house will start to smell amazing immediately.
This is what they look like after they get done cooking. Aren't they gorgeous? I mean at this stage, they are delicious by themselves. You could easily top a pizza with them, or serve them as a side, as is, with some chicken or fish. YUM! But transforming them into a soup is a great option too, so for now let's do that!
After allowing the veggies to cool down just a bit (if they are too hot the mixture will explode...I've done it before, and it is not fun) , place everything into a food processor or a blender including any pan juices and puree.
Now it's time to add your pureed mixture to a pot, along with your bay leaves, red pepper flakes, half of the basil, a little more salt and pepper, and your chicken stock. If you want your soup thicker, add less stock, if you want it thinner add more stock or water.
Let simmer at least 30 minutes, but it can go longer as well if you have time. The flavors only continue to intensify!
This soup is amazing by itself, but I love to make Panini's to eat with it. For this particular night, I had some mushrooms I needed to use, so I caramalized some baby bellas with some onions and added spinach, and provolone cheese inside my bread. I used a Panini press, but if you don't have one, you can just place an iron skillet on top of your sandwich to press it down in between the pans. Paninis are a great way to use up anything leftover in your fridge. You could easily just serve the soup inside a bread bowl or alongside some great crusty bread for dipping with a salad.
Next, ladle some soup into bowls, add a spoonful of Greek yogurt and a little more fresh basil for toppings. The creamy and tangy Greek yogurt really adds a nice element and balance to the soup. I make this soup on a regular basis, and it never lets me down, except for this picture when the Greek yogurt sank to the bottom before I could snap a shot to show you how pretty. Whatever, you get the idea...
That's it, you are done! How easy was that? Don't you feel motivated to make this one night very soon? Your family is going to be so impressed, and no one but you and me have to know that it is actually a piece of cake.
Oh, and I highly recommend dunking...