If I present my oldest son, Brady, with a perfectly melty and golden grilled cheese sandwich, he will immediately ask, “Where’s the tomato soup?” If there isn’t any tomato soup to be had for sandwich dipping and subsequent slurping, he will be thoroughly disappointed with life. I’ve learned that it’s best to keep a fail-proof, delicious tomato soup recipe on hand for all such grilled cheese sandwich occasions, which at our house are about once every other week. It’s one of our favorite meals.
I’ve found that I prefer tomato soup recipes that stray far away from garlic and Italian herbs, as that inevitably causes them to taste like a bowl of marinara sauce to me. This is my favorite version. I lightly adapted it from Homemade with Love by Jennifer Perillo. Before reading this recipe in her beautifully inviting cookbook, I had never tried roasting canned tomatoes. It was a complete revelation to me, and a necessary one, as tomatoes don’t grow well in Alaska without some serious gardening skills and a greenhouse, of which I have neither. Canned tomatoes are a pantry staple here on the Last Frontier. Roasting them, as Jennifer recommends, elevates them and removes that tinny flavor you often find. Plus, the addition of brown sugar and ground cloves gives the soup a long-simmered warmth. You’d never know how easy it is and how quickly it comes together once the tomatoes finish roasting.
- Yield: 4 Servings
- 1 can (28 ounces) whole tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon red-pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Preheat the oven to 300°F.
- Drain the tomatoes, reserving all of the liquid. Slice the tomatoes in half length-wise. Place them cut side up onto a large rimmed baking sheet.
- In a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar, salt, black pepper, cloves, and red-pepper flakes. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the tomatoes. Drizzle the tomatoes with the olive oil. Roast the tomatoes for 1 hour.
- Transfer the roasted tomatoes and all of the pan juices to a blender along with the vegetable broth and all of the reserved liquid. Whirl until smooth. Transfer the soup to a saucepan and place over medium-high heat. Heat, stirring often, until steaming hot, but not boiling. Turn off the heat and stir in the cream. Taste for seasoning and add additional salt if needed. Serve promptly.