ROASTED TOMATO SOUP
I’ve been making tomato soup, sweetened with honey, for many years. It’s a summer favourite, as generally that’s when tomatoes tend to have the best flavour. And wonderful if you have a good tomato crop from your vegetable garden.
Up until now, I’ve cooked the tomatoes by simmering in a stock. This past summer, I decided to try roasting the tomatoes in the oven, then adding them to stock. The soup was better than ever! Everyone who’s tried it, has asked me for the recipe. So, I’m sharing it with you.
The recipe has evolved from roasting the tomatoes in the oven first, then adding honey later, to roasting it with the honey. TIP: Don’t skip adding water to the baking pan, otherwise you could end up with a sticky, burned honey mess and a horrible pan to clean!
Roasted Tomato Soup
You will need
1.5kg ripe, medium-sized tomatoes (I don’t skin or deseed them)
1 medium red onion, peeled and cut into wedges
2 stalks celery, cut into 2.5cm lengths (optional)
2 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons olive oil
6 sprigs fresh thyme
5 cloves garlic
750ml chicken or vegetable stock
Cold water for roasting
Salt and pepper to taste
Cream or sour cream to serve
Thyme leaves, parsley or other herbs to garnish
1. Preheat oven to 180˚C (160˚C fan forced)
2. Cut tomatoes in half and place skin side down, without touching, on a shallow baking tray. Add onion and celery (if using celery.)
3. Sprinkle with salt, and drizzle tomatoes with olive oil and honey.
4. Smash the unpeeled, whole garlic cloves with a knife and place randomly around tomatoes on tray. Scatter thyme over tomatoes.
5. Pour enough cold water around the tomatoes to come up about half-way around them. (This is to stop the honey from burning.)
6. Place tray on centre rack of the oven and cook for an hour until the tomatoes are soft and roasted, skins slightly browned, but not burned. Give extra time if needed. (Half-way through, check there’s enough water to keep the honey from burning.)
7. Tip tomatoes, onions, celery and juices from the tray into a large saucepan. Squeeze the caramelised garlic cloves from their skins and add to taste. Add stock and bring to the boil. Let simmer for five minutes.
8. Use a hand-held stick blender to blend to a smooth soup. Add more stock or water if you want to thin it. Season to taste.
9. Serve with a swirl of cream or sour cream if desired. Garnish with thyme leaves or other herbs such as parsley or basil.
TIP: This soup freezes well.
Kandy Shepherd is a best-selling, award-winning author of contemporary romance. Her heartfelt, passionate stories are set in exciting locations around the world and are published in multiple languages. Kandy believes in love-at-first-sight and real-life romance—she and her husband of many years decided to spend their lives together after three days! She loves it when readers tell her that her books make them laugh and make them cry. Kandy lives near Sydney, Australia with her husband and numerous four-legged friends.