When the weather starts to turn chilly all I want to do is hibernate under a warm blanket with a vat of hot, fat-ass, carbo loaded foods. Hearty stews, cheesy pastas, and thick soups call to me...
Jaaaaackie. Jaaaaaaaaaackie. Don't you want to stuff your face with us? We promise to comfort you with our deliciousness...
What they don't tell you is that they also comfort you with 10 extra pounds on your ass!
But that's what the cold does! It seeps into our ancestral bones and turns us into gluttonous beasts to prepare for the famine ahead. But unfortunately, human evolution was not prepared for things like Whole Foods. Which means I have to figure out a way to appease my inner cavewoman in the modern world.
And this soup is the perfect answer.
8-9 large tomatoes (~3 1/2 to 4 lb), washed and cored
5 cloves of garlic (medium to large), peeled
1 shallot, quartered (use 1/4 an onion if you don’t have a shallot)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 leaves basil, sliced thinly (chiffonade), or more to taste
4 leaves sage, sliced thinly (chiffonade), optional
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon sugar, or a bit more to taste.
salt and pepper, to taste
1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray lightly with non-stick spray. Place your cored tomatoes on the sheet. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle of olive oil.
2. Make an smaller foil packet and add the garlic + shallot. Season with salt and pepper and a drizzle of olive oil, seal the packet, and place on the baking sheet with the tomatoes.
3. Roast the uncovered tomatoes and garlic/shallot foil packet for 30-35 minutes, or until the garlic is tender. If the tomatoes need to roast for longer, remove the garlic/shallot foil packet and continue to roast the tomatoes another 10+ minutes, or until the tomatoes are slightly charred on the top parts of the skin. Reserve the "tomato liquid" that remains in the baking sheet after roasting.
Note: if you want to make the soup creamy, keep the skins on and press the final product through a fine-meshed sieve. If you want to make the soup more "hearty," I'd recommend peeling off the tomato skins once they're cool enough to touch. The skins in the soup lead to a less-than-stellar texture.
4. Place the tomatoes, shallot, and garlic in a food processor or a large bowl. Sprinkle with half of the basil and half of the sage. Either use your processor or immersion blender to puree everything. If you need to work in batches, that’s fine, just have a pot ready to put the pureed soup in to keep it warm.
5. Add in the cream and sugar last and taste for seasoning, adding more salt, pepper or basil to taste. Feel free to add some of the reserved tomato liquid (from the roasting process) to thin out the soup if it's too thick for your liking.
6. Pass the soup through a sieve for a silky smooth final product. Serve in bowls and top with additional basil/sage.
Serve this soup alongside crusty bread or grilled cheese sandwiches to turn it into a bona-fide meal.