- Cooking Time: 120
- Preparation Time: 45
- 4 lbs of washed and cored Plum Tomatoes
- 1 small sweet onion
- 5 cloves of skinned and slightly smashed garlic
- 3 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
- Salt and fresh cracked Black Pepper to taste
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 2 Bay leaves
- 5 fresh Basil leaves rough chopped
- 1 heaping Tablespoon of Red Pepper Flakes
- Slice all the Tomatoes in half and place them cut side down on a sheet pan. Scatter the cloves of garlic around. Peel and quarter the onion and toss it in as well. Drizzle a little bit of olive oil over everything being sure to get a lot of coverage without letting the oil pool . Be sparing. Salt and Pepper the whole sheet and place in a COLD oven. Set the temp to 450 degrees for 30 minutes. That way the surface of your vegetables will not get blackened before the olive oil makes the skins start to caramelize.
- The time here is a general guide. Watch it close the last 15 minutes. When you see a dark golden brown glaze form you are there. Don’t take it all to a blacked burnt state. A little burn is ok and probably will add a bit of color but I want my soup to be ruby red so I don’t let that happen.
- Let the pan cool on a wire rack for about 10 or 15 minutes or so till you can safely touch the pan. Put everything in your soup pot. Add the stock, the crushed red pepper flakes and 2 bay leaves. Bring to a rolling boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Then remove the bay leaves. And add the basil.
- Transfer everything to a blender in batches or if you have an immersion blender just blend in the pot. Puree until a smooth texture or stop at any point that looks right to you. Put the soup back in the pot and bring to a boil then reduce to simmer.
- At this point the soup will be watery but we are going to fix that.
- Continue to Simmer for 1 ½ or up to 2 hours watching every now and then giving the uncovered pot a little stir The volume will reduce by almost half as the soup thickens.
- Add the red wine vinegar at the end to balance the natural sweetness of the tomatoes and your all done.
NotesThere are few things in life so simple and elegant. This soup just feels like home. Normally it is the main with a side of grilled cheese sandwich. I like to experiment with the sides so instead I made a flatbread Italian Quesadilla. It has a center of smoky provolone and crispy pancetta and a base of pureed sun dried tomato all in a folded flatbread that is pan toasted. It is the perfect crispy friend to accompany the real reason we are here. The Soup.