Tomato soup is such a comforting classic. Many recipes call for canned tomatoes and heavy cream. A few years ago I made roasted red pepper soup in a cooking class and was amazed by how creamy the soup turned out without using any dairy at all. I made this tomato soup much the same way and added a pepper for another layer of flavor.
In this easy fresh tomato soup recipe, almost all the ingredients get roasted together in a large sheet pan. The ingredients are pure and simple, which is my favorite way to cook. The flavors deepen and the tomatoes, onions, and peppers get so gorgeous and caramelized. It was hard not to just eat them directly off the pan! To peel or not to peel? I don’t remove the tomato or pepper skins unless they get really charred. I find that a whirl through a high powered blender is sufficient, but if you want to make sure there aren’t any tough bits, you could pass the mixture through a food mill, or simply slip the skins off.
Tomato soup made from fresh tomatoes has a lighter and brighter flavor than from canned. After spending far too long taking photos, I found out that this soup is also delicious eaten cold like a gazpacho.
Fresh tomatoes and basil with a bit of garlic and onion are such fantastic summer combination. To make this recipe really sparkle I like to add a tiny pinch or drizzle of truffle oil or salt just before eating. Cashew cream, crispy chickpeas, or a spoon of almond ricotta would make a bowl of this soup even more substantial.
- 1 large yellow onion, peeled and cut into large chunks
- 5 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into large wedges
- 8 cups halved tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon sea salt, to taste
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 handful fresh basil leaves
- 2 cups vegetable broth (gluten-free if needed)
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Place the onion, garlic, bell pepper, and tomatoes on a rimmed sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Roast in oven for about 40 minutes, until all the ingredients are very tender, turning any veggies that may be starting to burn every so often.
Let the roasted tomato mixture cool slightly so that you don’t get burned. At this point you can remove some or all of the tomato and pepper skins. I leave them on but some people don’t like any tough bits. Transfer this mixture to a blender or soup pot if using an immersion blender. Add one cup of veggie broth and puree. Add more broth until you reach the desired consistency. Blend in the basil, leaving a few leaves out for garnish. I prefer using a regular blender here, but be careful to not completely seal the lid. Keep the lid ajar and hold a towel over the top to make sure you don’t get splashed and burned. Season to taste with salt and pepper.