Whoever invented tomato soup was some kind of brilliant idiot. Honestly, it is so good to eat, but so inexplicably inefficient to make.
ant, always thinking ahead.
I made my soup at the very peak of tomato season. I got big, red beefsteak tomatoes and sweet vidalia onions from the Nashville Farmers' Market. I roasted them with garlic, rosemary and fennel and blended it all together with basil from my windowsill. It's like preserving the best of summer in a bowl.
-Serves four as a meal, six as a side dish
4 1/2 pounds red tomatoes
2 small vidalia onions
1 large bulb fennel
1 head garlic
2 cups milk (I used 2%)
1 cup fresh basil
4 sprigs rosemary, roughly torn
Slice fennel and onion in 1/4 inch rounds, slice tomatoes in half and chop the top off of a whole head of garlic. Cover vegetables in lots of olive oil, kosher salt and rosemary. Roast in oven at 400 until onions and fennel are caramelized and tomatoes are soft (this could take up to 55 minutes depending on your oven and your vegetables; check them after 30 minutes, and then every 10 minutes after that). Discard rosemary when vegetables are done. Meanwhile, warm (do NOT simmer or boil) the milk with the basil in it for 30 minutes. Blend everything together (be sure to squeeze the garlic out of its skin). Strain through a fine mesh sieve. Add 1/2 a cup of remaining pulp to thicken soup.
*Note: I recommend roasting tomatoes in something shallow like a pie dish. Juice will come off of them and caramelize in the bottom. That juice is delicious! Plus it will make a mess in your oven if it drips off a cookie sheet.