Husband-Tested Recipe from the kitchen of Alice Wootton
The plum (Roma) tomatoes are ripe right now, so it's time to make this easy, but wonderful soup. There's no peeling or seeding involved, so it's a snap to make. You'll even be able to freeze it, if you wish, so that on those cold winter nights, you'll have something that tastes of summer to warm you up. The recipe below is just the "basic" one. (In fact, now I don't even measure anything when I make it. I just dump it all on the baking sheet and go.) Often I'll make it by adding other veggies to the tomato mixture, like squash, zucchini or eggplant, cut into chunks and/or corn on the cob, cut into rounds (you'll need to take the corn off the cob afterwards, of course.) By adding a variety of peppers, you can control the heat. This soup/sauce is another way to use up the herbs you have from your garden, the Orange County HomeGrown Farmers Market or Lost River Market & Deli. Add broth to your liking. If you want this to be a sauce for pasta, add less broth. If you want this to be soupy, add more. Don't be afraid of using the whole head of garlic. You'll be roasting the garlic which makes it sweet, not pungent. If you don't have an immersion blender (which I think is a must in the kitchen) you can pour this in a food processor or regular blender to puree it. An immersion blender is a great tool because it allows you to puree your concoctions right in the pot, so there's no mess. If you decide to get one, I advise getting one with a metal housing which allows you to put it in hot liquids. KitchenAid makes a good one for about $50.
3 lbs. (approx.) ripe plum tomatoes 1 large yellow onion
2 peppers 1 large entire bulb of garlic
1/4 cup (approx.) Extra virgin olive oil 2-3 teaspoons kosher salt 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper 1 (14 oz.) can of chicken or vegetable broth
Fresh thyme, basil or even Eric's Pesto (recipe on this blog)
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Cut tomatoes in half, lengthwise. Place in a roasting pan or cookie sheet with sides. Peel onion. Cut into chunks. If using peppers, cut into large chunks, discarding seeds. Add onion and peppers to tomatoes. Leaving the skin on, slice the top off of the entire bulb of garlic. Add the garlic bulb in with the tomato mixture. Drizzle the olive oil over all. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss mixture until everything is coated with the oil. Roast, uncovered, in the oven for approximately 30 minutes. Vegetables should be tender, but not scorched. Pour contents, with juices, into a soup pot. Using several paper towels to protect your hands from the heat, squeeze the garlic bulb until the tender cloves pop out into the mixture. Discard the garlic skin. Add the broth. Add some fresh thyme or basil leaves or a couple of tablespoons of pesto. Using a hand blender, puree the soup. Cook over a flame until heated through.