It is rainy and gloomy here in Cincinnati today. Instead of letting the day make my mood gloomy, I’m going to whip up this classic Tomato Basil Soup! I got this original recipe from my boss but I have switched it up a little bit (I like it to have a zestier flavor so I added a red pepper and spiced it up with a little kick from red pepper flakes). I also love this recipe because it can easily become vegan if you omit or substitute the butter! Enjoy the fruits of your labor hot or cold and of course, with a grilled cheese. It is a little bit more labor intensive than most things I make. But I promise it will be divine and your house will smell incredible too!
What you’ll need:
3 lbs ripe Roma tomatoes, cut in half length wise
optional: 1 red pepper, seeded and halved
1/4 cup plus 2 TBSP olive oil
1 and 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
2 chopped yellow onions
6 cloves minced garlic
2T unsalted butter
1/4 -3/4 tsp red pepper flakes
28oz canned whole plum tomatoes with juice
4 cups fresh basil leaves
1Qt vegetable broth or water
Now for the work:
Preheat oven to 400F /205C
Cut tomatoes in half lengthwise, toss with 1/4 cup olive oil, spread in single layer on parchment paper lined baking sheet with sides, sprinkle with salt and pepper. You can add the seeded/halved red pepper to the pan if you’ve chosen to include it. Roast in oven 45 minutes.
While tomatoes roast in oven:
In a large stock pot, melt butter with olive oil, add garlic, red pepper flakes and chopped onions. I only use 1/4 red pepper flakes for a mild taste suitible for kids. I personally like more like 1/2-3/4 Saute about 10 minutes until onions are translucent and begin to brown.
Add canned tomatoes, basil, vegetable broth. Simmer on low until tomatoes are finished roasting.
Add roasted tomatoes/red pepper and juices to the stockpot. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat. Simmer uncovered for 40-50 minutes.
Allow to cool. Pass through a food processor or blender in batches. For thinner soup you can add some water for desired consistency.
Enjoy! Hot or cold. With a classic grilled cheese or gourmet panini. I love to make a mozzarella, pesto grilled cheese and dip it in the soup.