Roasted Tomato Soup with Chipotle

There was a time this summer that if you walked into my parent’s kitchen, most of the island counter space was covered with tomatoes from their garden. Actually I should say “our” garden, as I prep, plant, weed, prune the four sunny garden beds at my parent’s house. Mom harvests, and everyone shares. Which is a good thing, because when you are overloaded with produce you want people to share it with! Things are definitely slowing down in both mom and dad’s garden and mine. Here at the tail end of summer, we both have more green tomatoes than red, but there were still more than enough ripe tomatoes to make this roasted tomato soup.

I grew up on canned tomato soup from Campbells. Personally I never liked it, but my dad loves the stuff. Roasted tomato soup made from scratch however, is a whole different beast. There’s so much more flavor, and it’s so easy to make! You just halve the tomatoes, roast them in a hot oven with some onions, peppers, and garlic for 45 minutes, and purée them with some stock. With this recipe we’ve added a smoky, spicy touch with chipotle chiles.

In our recipe we recommend topping with some thinned sour cream and either sliced fresh basil or chopped cilantro. Here’s my opinion on the greens. One would expect that a dish made with tomato and chipotle would lend itself to cilantro. And it does. But basil? That was a surprise. This soup simply sparkles with fresh basil.

  • Prep: 10 minutes
  • Cook: 1 hour
  • Yield: Serves 4-6.

We used regular garden tomatoes for this recipe. If you use plum or Roma tomatoes, which are denser, you might need to add a little more stock. You can roast the tomatoes either cut side down or cut side up. We roast our cut side down because you can then easily lift the skins off of the tomatoes and peppers after they've charred a bit. Regarding the chipotle chiles. They pack a punch, so start with one puréed into the soup. If you still want more heat, add another.

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds fresh plum or garden tomatoes, cored and sliced in half
  • 1 onion, peeled and quartered lengthwise (root end to top)
  • 4 to 5 cloves garlic, left in the skins
  • 1 red pepper, cored and sliced in half
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • 1 to 2 chipotle chiles (canned in adobo), roughly chopped
  • 2 cups chicken stock (or vegetable broth for vegetarian option)
  • Sliced fresh basil or chopped fresh cilantro for garnish
  • Sour cream for garnish

Method

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1 Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat the bottom of a rimmed baking pan or baking sheet with olive oil. Arrange the tomatoes and red pepper cut side down on the sheet. Place the garlic cloves and onion on the baking sheet. Paint olive oil over the vegetables. Sprinkle salt over the tomatoes, peppers, garlic, and onions, and bake in the oven 45 minutes, or until the skins of the tomatoes and peppers start to blacken.

2 Remove the baking sheet from the oven and allow it to cool for 10 minutes. Pick the tomato and red pepper skins off the tomatoes and peppers and discard. Peel the skins off the garlic and discard. Reserve the baking sheet. Put the roasted tomatoes, onions, peeled garlic, roasted peppers, and chipotle into a food processor or blender. Add any of the tomato liquid that may be left in the baking pan. Scrape up any browned bits on the pan (not blackened bits) and add those to the food processor bowl as well. Pulse until you have a rough purée, about 60 seconds.

3 Pour the purée into a medium pot. Add 2 cups of stock. Heat the soup to a simmer. Add salt to taste.

Garnish with a dollop of sour cream that has been lightly thinned with water, and freshly sliced basil or chopped cilantro.

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