Roasted Roma Tomato Soup

A taste of Provence, Nice in particular. This soup can be extended to 10 servings by adding a 28 oz. can of whole Roma tomatoes, and a 1-litre box of chicken stock.

INGREDIENTS:
Croutons
1 cup baguette cubes
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 dried chili pepper, crushed
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
2 tablespoons parsley, minced
3 tablespoons dried herbes de Provence, divided

Soup
3 pounds roma tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
4 cups water or chicken stock or vegetable stock
1 whole garlic bulb, peeled
1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
extra virgin olive oil for drizzling

YIELD: 4 to 6 servings, or 10 if extended with canned tomatoes

COURSE: Soups and Stews

CUISINE: French

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees F. In a small bowl, combine bread, butter, chilis, garlic, parsley, and 1 tablespoon herbes de provence. Transfer to a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until lightly golden. remove from oven and reserve.
  2. On a baking sheet, place tomatoes skin side down, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with remaining herbes de Provence, salt and pepper. Bake for 1 hour or until tomatoes are soft and wrinkled.
  3. While the tomatoes are baking, saute the onion for about 8 minutes. Set aside.
  4. Using a spatula, scrape roasted tomatoes and all the pan juices, oil and seasonings from the baking sheet into your soup caldron. Add water, sauteed onion and peeled garlic cloves; stir well. Bring mixture to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. remove from heat and puree mixture with a stick blender, or in a food processor. Adjust seasoning.
  5. Ladle the hot soup into bowls and top each with a spoonful of basil, chopped tomatoes and some croutons. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil and serve immediately.