To me, nothing says fall like the return of comfort foods like soup and chili. Not only can you pretty much include whatever ingredients you like but they’re easy and can be made in big batches for yummy leftovers.
Since tomatoes are still in season and plentiful in both stores and gardens, homemade Tomato Soup is one of my favorite summer-meets-fall dishes. I wasn’t always a huge fan of tomato soup but I discovered that a freshly flavored (and healthy!) homemade version is impossible to resist.
Summer-Meets-Fall Roasted Tomato Soup
2 lbs fresh tomatoes, mix of Roma, vine-ripe (whatever looks good)
1 small onion, roughly chopped
1 28oz can whole peeled tomatoes
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 quart chicken (or vegetable) broth
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp sherry
1/2C half & half
4 Tbsp butter
2 bay leaves
fresh basil, roughly chopped
Kosher salt, black pepper
crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
grated parmesan cheese (optional)
Heat oven to 450. Roughly chop fresh tomatoes and onion. Mix together on a baking sheet with the garlic cloves. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast for 20-30 minutes until peeling and soft.
Move the tomatoes, onions and garlic to a stockpot or Dutch oven, heat on med-high. Add canned tomatoes with juices, broth, butter, bay leaves, along with vinegar and sherry, to taste. Use a potato masher to smash up the chunks and simmer on med-low for 10-15 min.
Remove the bay leaves. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup in the pot. Or use a standard blender/food processor and work in batches to puree soup to a semi-smooth texture. Add half & half and basil, stir well. Season with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to taste.
Return to your childhood by serving with grilled cheese! Let soup simmer while you make your sandwich and garnish soup with parmesan cheese to serve.