This roasted tomato and garlic soup is one of the reasons I fell in love with cooking, before this soup right here, the only soup I made was chicken soup when I had a cold. I’m not talking about some simple broth from a can chicken soup, I mean all the vegetables, half a chicken, simmering is perfect harmony. No one in my family ever made soup from packaged broth, hence I didn’t know there was another way. I now know how one can make a great soup with broth from cartons, but sometimes I just stick to tradition. This tomato goodness in this recipe came about because I had a bunch of tomatoes at home along with an experimental thought to somehow combine them with the chicken stock I made for my cold.
I believe this soup is really amazing, and what makes it so amazing is the fact that every time I make this specific soup I make my own chicken stock first. The reason behind this is I liked my grandmother’s or mother’s tomato soups, I don’t like it to taste like tomato paste mixed with water, I want it to have layers of flavor, or else I could just buy a can of tomato soup and call it a day.
The chicken stock is made by using real chicken, half a chicken, a leg, a quarter, basically any part that has a bone in it. The chicken is cooked in the water until a foam gathers at the top. That foam is then spooned off and the fresh vegetables are added. The vegetables are in large pieces as almost all of them will be taken out when the stock is done, some are left in and blended with the tomatoes for more flavor.
Roasting the tomatoes and garlic yourself is a big part of this rich soup. This step can be done while the stock is simmering.
Fresh ripe tomatoes are drizzled with olive oil, fresh herbs and spices, good tomatoes make good roasted tomatoes which in turn make a good soup…
…so don’t put some moldy or unripe sour tomatoes in this soup.
They look so good right now, I would just eat them, but the oven is hot and waiting.
Out come slightly charred tomatoes oozing with juices and infused olive oil, not only with the tomatoes but with all the fresh herbs as well.
Joining the tomatoes in the oven is the garlic, yup they are going to be roasted too. These are just as simple, a bit of olive oil, some salt, pepper, and they are ready.
Slicing off the tip or bottom of the garlic clove will make it even easier to get the roasted garlic out of the skin.
When they are cool enough to handle, just squeeze them out of the skin.
A paste is made by using a fork to mash together the roasted garlic and roasted tomatoes along with the drippings and herbs. I call this heavenly paste, you can use it for the soup or make more and use some for a dip while you’re waiting for the soup… you know for chips, or crispy bread, or even for french fries.
The homemade paste is added to the stock along with some extra raw garlic, additional basil leaves, fresh cream and some flour to act as a thickener. The soup is simmered until the raw garlic is soft and the stock has been properly infused with the ingredients. Finally the soup is blended until smooth and served with a drizzle of extra cream.
- 2 lbs (1kg) tomatoes, halved
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- Several sprigs fresh thyme
- Several leaves fresh basil
- Several leaves fresh sage
- 2 teaspoons dried mixed herbs (rosemary, thyme, sage, basil, marjoram)
- pinch red pepper flakes
- 5 large or 8 small cloves garlic, skin on and ends chopped off
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- pinch of salt and pepper
- 7 cups homemade chicken or vegetable stock (6 if a very thick soup is preferred)
- roasted tomatoes and garlic from recipe
- 2 cloves garlic, whole
- 10 leaves fresh basil
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1 tablespoon cold water
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- salt, pepper, red pepper flakes to taste
- 16 cups of water
- 2 chicken drumsticks, or chicken quarters (optional)
- 1 chicken bouillon cube
- 1 onion, halved and charred
- 3 leek tops, or 1 whole leek
- 3 small carrots, halved
- 1 stalk celery, quartered
- 1/2 parsnip halved
- handful parsley
- salt and pepper to taste
- This recipe calls for twice the amount needed when making the roasted tomato and garlic soup, this is because one stock batch can be used to make two large separate soups.
- If using meat, place the chicken pieces in a large stockpot and cover with 16 cups of water. Bring to a gentle boil and allow to cook until a foam gathers at the top of the water. With a spoon gather and discard the foam. Bring the heat up to a medium-low and add all the remaining ingredients to the stock. If making the vegetarian version, gently boil water with a vegetable bouillon cube and add all the vegetables at once. Continuing on a gentle boil, cook the stock till the meat is tender or the carrots are almost fully cooked, about an hour.
- Preheat oven to 400F degrees (200C)
- Place tomatoes on a baking dish cut side down. Drizzle with olive oil and gently toss to coat the tomatoes. Tear the fresh herbs and toss onto the tomatoes. Generously sprinkle salt, black pepper, mixed dried herbs and red pepper flakes.
- Separately place garlic in a small baking dish or ramekin and coat with olive oil. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper, mix well.
- Place both baking dishes into the oven and bake until both tomatoes and garlic are soft when pierced with a fork, about 25 minutes.
- Remove from oven, let cool slightly, and push the garlic out of its skin. Mash tomatoes and garlic with a fork or in a food processor. This will be your base paste for the soup. Leaving on the tomato skins will produce the best flavor in the soup.
- If using homemade stock, leave in some onion, celery and carrot pieces to create an additional layer of flavor in the soup. If using store bought stock you can toss is some onion, celery and carrot slices to replicate this. Add the roasted tomatoes, roasted and raw garlic, 6 basil leaves, and tomato paste to the stock and cook on medium-low heat. This process will infuse the stock with all the ingredients. Cook until the raw garlic is soft, about 15-20 minutes. Add salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste. This soup can be made mlld or spicy by varying how much red pepper flakes are added.
- In a separate cup mix the flour, and cold water to create a paste. Pour into the simmering soup, mix, and simmer for an additional 2 minutes. Add the remaining basil leaves. Remove soup from the heat and blend with either and immersion blender or a regular blender (in small batches). Make sure the pot or the blender is not filled all the way to the top as you can splatter your kitchen or worse, yourself, 2/3 full is best. Once blended, stir in heavy cream and cook 2 minutes more.
- To serve, ladle soup into bowls, drizzle with olive oil, heavy cream. Garnish with fresh black pepper and croutons, or sour cream.