Thursday, September 15, 2011

Roasted Tomato Soup with Basil Coulis

While it may seem more like late summer in many parts of the country, here in the mountains it is clearly early fall.  The leaves are beginning to change color, our night time temps have been in the fifties for a few weeks, and we may be building our first fire this weekend if the current forecast holds. Cooler temperatures mean that we'll be using our grill a lot less and our dutch ovens a lot more.  As much as I love our summer dinners of grilled meats and lots of fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables, I look forward to those comforting pots of soup, stew and chili.

I made this Roasted Tomato Soup with Basil Coulis last weekend and served it with my  Pâté de Campagne and a green salad.  I promised B that next time I'd make grilled cheese.  This soup with the basil oil drizzle is a bridge between summer and fall -- it uses summer's tomatoes and basil, but has the feel of cool weather comfort food.

Roasted Tomato Soup with Basil Coulis


For the Roasted Tomato Soup:
  • 1 pounds roma tomatoes, halved
  • 1 small white onion, sliced
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (divided)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (divided)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 Parmigiano Reggiano rind
For the Basil Coulis:
  • 1/2 cup( packed) basil leaves
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large clove garlic, peeled and minced
  • pinch of kosher salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Place the tomatoes in a single layer in a large glass baking dish.  Toss the sliced onion and whole cloves of garlic on top.  Drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon each of the salt and pepper.
  3. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the tomatoes and vegetables caramelize.
  4. Let the tomatoes cool a bit, then slip off the skins and cut out any big pieces of core.
  5. Melt the butter in a large dutch oven over medium heat.  Add the tomatoes, onion, garlic and pan juices, then the chicken broth.  Bring to a low boil, turn down the heat, and simmer the soup for about 20 minutes.
  6. Take the pot off the heat and let cool a bit, then purée the soup using an immersion blender.  If you are using a conventional blender, let the soup cool considerably before transferring to the blender in batches.
  7. Return the soup to the heat.  Add the Parmigiano Reggiano rind and the bay leaf as well as the remaining 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper.  Cook over low heat for 20-30 minutes.  Add more chicken broth (or a bit of cream) to thin if the soup becomes thicker than you like.
  8. Meanwhile, make the coulis by puréeing the basil, olive oil, garlic and salt in a blender or mini-chopper.  If you have one, transfer the coulis to a squirt bottle to make drizzling easier.
  9. Remove the rind and the bay leaf. Taste the soup and adjust the seasonings.  Ladle the soup into bowls, drizzle with the basil coulis and serve hot.
Yield: 4 servings
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Simmering soup with a Parmigiano Reggiano rind is one of my favorite tricks for adding more complex flavors to a simple soup like this one.  I stash my rinds in a bag in the freezer as I use up the cheese.  Small containers of the rinds are also for sale in the cheese section of Earth Fare.

Don't skip the step of slipping the skins off the tomatoes or your soup will be full of little shards of tomato skin.  Removing the skin after roasting is pretty easy to do with Roma tomatoes, which is one reason I use them for soup.  The other reason is that pretty decent Romas are available year-round. Costco's 12-pack of romas is on my shopping list when the locally grown ones disappear. 

This post is linked up at Whisking Wednesday and Miz Helen's Full Plate Thursday .

You might also like:
Butternut Squash and Tasso Bisque at Another Marvelous Meal
Creamy Broccoli Soup with a Kick at Another Marvelous Meal
Asparagus Soup at TasteFood
Potato-Leek Soup at David Lebovitz
Creamy Roasted Corn Soup at Naturally Ella


Miz Helen said...

Hi Lynn,
This could be my favorite soup of all time, it looks so delicious. I could eat soup everyday. Hope you are having a great week end and thanks so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
Come Back Soon!
Miz Helen

Lynn said...

Thanks! We love the tomato soup and its such a great way to get lots of nutrients into my kids!