Once upon a time in our younger years, my family and I were on vacation and traveling by train. On this ride, they were offering meals, and the first course was tomato soup. My older sister, who was sitting next to me decided to pass on the soup, but I never say no to food, so I sat there slurping mine away happily while she stared at me. Normally I don’t care much for soups, but I do love anything with tomatoes and it seemed like a nice day for soup. Plus I think it’s just plain wrong to not accept food when offered. My sister sat there looking at me eat, and asked for a taste. I grudgingly offered. It was a very good soup. She ate a spoonful. Then another. Much to my disappointment, it seemed like I wasn’t the only one who liked it now. Anyhow, a little while later our main course arrived, so I didn’t stay mad at her for long. That day was probably the very first time that I tasted a tomato soup. And I’ve loved it since.
When the weather turns crisp, and the leaves change color, it means soup season has arrived. I like to roast my veggies to get the most flavor out of them, and the addition of balsamic vinegar to this soup gives it a nice sweetness. My middle daughter, like me, loves anything with tomatoes, and told me this ‘brand’ of soup that I bought was very good- even better than the restaurant’s. I was torn between annoyance and joy, because she had automatically assumed that I bought it, but happy that it passed her flavor test. I was baking some Rosemary bread to go with this soup, but the kiddos could not wait for it to finish cooking and for me to take more pictures with the bread, so they dove right in.
You could top this soup with cream, croutons, Parmesan cheese or red pepper flakes to to make it even more flavorful. I like to serve mine hot, with some basil leaves as garnish.
This is how it’s made :
1. Preheat the oven to 375 F.
2. Grease a baking dish with 1 tbsp of olive oil.
3. Chop 7 Roma tomatoes in half. Place them cut side down on the baking dish.
4. Chop 1/4 cup of onions and put it over the tomatoes. Add in 3 cloves of minced garlic, 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, and 1 tsp Italian seasoning.
5. Drizzle with 3 tbsp olive oil.
6. Place the baking dish in the oven, and bake for 45 minutes.
7. Once done, peel off the tomato skins. This is optional, but results in a smoother soup.
8. Transfer all the ingredients to a blender. Add in 1 tbsp tomato paste, 1/2 cup whole milk and 2.5 cups vegetable stock. Also add in 1/4 cup chopped basil leaves. Blend till smooth.
9. In a heated saucepan, melt 1 tbsp of butter, and pour in the blended soup. Add 1.5 tsp sugar to cut out some of the acidity.
10. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Taste for salt, and add if needed because your vegetable stock might contain salt. Garnish with more basil, and serve hot.