- About 4 pounds tomatoes (I used a mix of sugar plum, roma and campari), quarter the larger ones and leave the small ones whole
- 10 cloves garlic
- Drizzle olive oil, for roasting
- Drizzle balsamic vinegar
- Kosher or sea salt to taste
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- 1 cup water
- 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes (if you like it chunky)
- 1/4 cup heavy cream (if you like it creamy)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Several leaves basil, shredded (garnish)
Prep time: 45 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 30 minutes
First you have to roast the tomatoes and garlic. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or foil. Toss the halved or quartered tomatoes and the peeled garlic in some olive oil, a splash of balsamic vinegar and a big pinch of salt. Lay on the cookie sheet and bake for 30-45 minutes or until they just start to brown. (The entire house will smell incredible when they are ready.)
While your tomatoes are doing their thing, heat a large pot on medium low on the stove. Pour in a few rounds of olive oil and the diced onions. Then cook them till translucent. There is a phrase for this in Italian. It's "devi uccidere la cipolla" It means "You must kill the onion." The theory is you have to cook it so much you have pulled all the life out of it.
When your onion is "dead" and your tomatoes are roasted, pour the tomatoes, garlic and all the juice from the pan into the pot. Stir and cook for 5 to 10 minutes. Now you need to transfer the tomatoes and onions into a blender and blend till smooth. This works best if you do it in batches. Then run the liquid through a strainer and back into the pot. Add the broth and water. Season to taste with a pinch of cayenne pepper and salt.
If you'd like your soup more chunky, add the can of diced tomatoes, and if you like it creamier add some heavy cream gradually till you get the consistency that you like.