New York’s weather has been especially crazy this winter. It was 58 degrees and sunny the other day and then 36 degrees just a few days later. We had snow before Halloween and only once since then. This doesn’t just make it hard to decide what clothes to put on in the morning to be prepared for the day, but it also makes it so I’m not really sure what to eat every day. Cozy comfort food or something lighter to go with the warm(er) weather?
Yesterday I woke up and knew immediately what the day called for: pajamas and tomato soup. It was cold and gray but I went to the store, bought supplies and hunkered down to prepare this delicious soup.
It takes a little while to make, but one of the things I like best about this soup is that it’s so flavorful with so few ingredients. Fresh tomatoes are just so much better in this than using canned ones and roasting really adds depth. It’s great with grilled cheese or garlic bread. It’s not that bad cold, either, though that takes the comfort food aspect out of it entirely.
roasted tomato basil soup
4 pounds plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, plus more to taste
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste.
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1 large bunch of basil, coarsely chopped
4 cups vegetable stock
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the tomatoes, cut side up, on a baking sheet and sprinkle with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Place the garlic on a small sheet of aluminum foil and fold the foil into a small envelope, completely enclosing the garlic inside. Nestle the packet in the middle of your sheet pan and roast everything for one hour, until the tomatoes are tender and browned on the edges. Transfer the tomatoes, garlic, basil and any juices from the sheet pan into a food processor and pulse until it reaches a chunky puree. Transfer to a pot and add the crushed red pepper and vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 25-30 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.