Tomato soup, my former nemesis and now my ever constant friend in the form of a Roasted Tomato and Garlic Soup. You still will never find me closer than 5 feet from a can of Campbell’s tomato soup, but few things can compare to a bowl of creamy soup from freshly roasted tomatoes. Don’t get me wrong, I love Campbell’s as a brand, but that tomato soup I just can’t stand. As I’ve ventured into the kitchen more and more over these past three years, I’ve learned that many of the foods I abhorred as a kid and young adult I hated because I had only tried the worst versions: out of season tomatoes and refrigerated cakes among the first to spring to mind. So I went through life generally avoiding raw tomatoes and opted only for ice cream at parties, never realizing what I was missing. Then I had a revelation as I learned to make my first cake. Many of the foods I disliked were not because that food was gross or inedible, but had been made in a way I disliked. So with the power that comes with growing into a capable cook and baker, I have revisited those foods, only to create amazing dishes that I truly, truly love. So if you can enjoy a marinara sauce but “hate tomato soup,” PLEASE TRY THIS RECIPE. Do you need me to beg? I will do it, this soup is that good. Just email me if you need more convincing, because I am positive you will become a new fan.
And please learn from my mistakes. Normal substitutions like beef broth instead of chicken broth and yellow tomatoes instead of red tomatoes will taste fine, but your soup will look like… well… how can I say it delicately? #2? Montezuma’s revenge? Brown sludge? If you don’t have chicken broth just use water, not brown liquids like beef broth. And definitely go for the tastiest, deep red tomatoes you can find. The cream in this soup will turn the color slightly orange in any case, so if you’re starting with yellow tomatoes you will have an yellow-brown result… Not as appetizing as one would hope.
As opposed to my failures, let me also share my successes… This time I decided to up my game with some roasted garlic. And BOY was it great!!!! Is that enough exclamation points to convey my point? I’m not sure… Suffice to say that it is a good soup before the garlic and phenomenal after it. I know I’ll never be able to go back.
The magic of this soup is that you can customize it to fit your meal and pantry… Don’t have fresh herbs? Dried work just fine (just add them in as early as possible to give it more time for the flavor to incorporate). Want a French or an Italian… or Indian (just spitballing here, but I think it could be great) taste? Just swap for the corresponding herbs!
My favorite way to make this soup is when I start with fresh tomatoes from a friend’s garden and serve it with what my husband calls “BAT Grilled Cheese” – homemade ciabatta bread with mashed avocado, sliced tomatoes, and bacon slices covered with cheese, broiled just to melt the cheese. Pretty hard to beat that combo!