Roasted Tomato Soup with Crispy Artichoke
Makes: 8 cups
By Heidi Allison
This recipe elevates classic diner comfort food, Tomato Soup, into an upscale dish. Traditional canned tomatoes, which can taste tinny, are switched out for three types of fresh tomatoes—the meaty-textured Roma, flavorful “On-the-Vine” cluster tomato, and sweet, low-acid grape tomato. Each cultivar brings something different to the finished dish. To sweeten and intensify the tomato flavor, the tomatoes are roasted with fresh garlic and buttery California olive oil in a hot oven, for one hour, to caramelized the sugars and deepen flavors. An added bonus to using this culinary technique: the tough tomato skins blister, then split, making it easy to pull off them off with your fingers as they cool to room temperature. No time-consuming (and, messy) blanching and peeling tomatoes is needed in this recipe! To further enhance a” tomato taste”, sweet onions and double-concentrated Italian tomato paste are roasted in a hot oven with olive oil to concentrate flavors.
Croutons, or garlic-rubbed day-old bread, is the usual garnish for this simple peasant soup. This upscale, gluten-free rendition crisps up marinated artichoke hearts and fresh rosemary for a modern twist to this old-time favorite. This dish, start to finish, can be done in a toaster oven. Pair with a grilled cheese sandwich for a meal that is easy on the wallet.
Roasted Tomato Soup
2 lb. organic Roma tomatoes, about 5
1 lb. organic tomatoes, about 2
1 package of organic grape tomatoes, about 10 oz.
2 Tbs. Italian double-concentrated tomato paste
8 cloves garlic, peeled
black garlic, peeled
sweet onion, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup California olive oil, divided
1/3 cup cooked white rice,
3 cups good quality chicken stock
2 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
1 package of Melissa’s Steamed Artichoke Hearts
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp. dried Italian oregano
Pinch of flake sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 large sprig rosemary
Combine artichoke hearts, lemon juice, olive oil, oregano and S&P in a bowl and toss to combine. Allow artichoke hearts to marinate for at least 20 minutes for flavors to develop, then separate into leaves.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Place tomatoes and garlic in a large bowl and pour 1/4 cup olive oil over veggies and toss to coat.
Line a baking sheet with foil and place tomatoes and garlic in pan, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in oven and roast for 1 hour or until the tomatoes and garlic are soft and lightly browned. Remove from oven and allow to cool to room temperature. Using your fingers, slip skins off tomatoes and discard. Pour tomatoes, juices and garlic into a large bowl and set aside.
Line a baking sheet with foil and place chopped onions on a single layer. Drizzle with 4 tablespoons oil and place in 425 degree oven for 15 minutes, or until onions are soft and lightly browned on the edges. Remove tray from oven and add tomato paste to onions and mix with a fork to combine. Return to oven for another 10 minutes or until tomato paste is sizzling. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
Place half of tomato/garlic mixture, chicken stock, black garlic, tomato paste & onion mixture and rice into a large Ninja bullet (or blender) container, and purée on “blend” setting till combined, then pour veggie mixture into a medium pot. Repeat process with remainder of tomato & garlic mixture, chicken stock, black garlic, tomato paste & onion mixture and rice, then pour into pot.
Increase oven temperature to 450 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and place artichoke leaves, without touching, on top. Bake for 10 minutes, or until artichokes are beginning to crisp up and get brown on the edges, Add sprig of fresh rosemary and lightly film with olive oil. Return baking sheet to oven and roast until artichoke leaves are crisp and lightly browned, and rosemary is dry—about 10 minutes more. Remove from oven and set aside.
Heat soup on medium heat until hot and ladle into soup bowls. Drizzle melted butter on top of soup in a circle, and garnish with crisp artichoke hearts and rosemary.
Serve immediately. This soup can be made several days in advance of serving, and freezes well.