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We spent last weekend curled up in front of the fireplace, wrapped up in just about every blanket we own. We have two solid months of winter to go, but I’m already over it. When it’s this cold out, I have a hard time getting excited for anything other than soup. This one, full of roasted tomatoes and garlic, is particularly well-suited for this weather.
Remember that time I made spicy roasted tomatoes and Shawn – who loathes tomatoes – asked for seconds? I figured I’d press my luck and see if he might also like roasted tomato soup. I started with the best can of tomatoes I could find, then roasted them with olive oil and a pinch of brown sugar to concentrate their flavor and bring out their natural sweetness. Once the tomatoes were roasted, I combined them with onion, roasted garlic, fresh basil, and just enough chicken stock to make it pass for soup instead of sauce.
But the best part? Just before serving, I melted in an ounce of soft goat cheese to help smooth out the soup’s flavor. The cheese makes the soup deliciously creamy and balances out any acidity that the tomatoes have. It also makes it taste like you dunked a grilled cheese sandwich into your bowl – especially when you also top it with New York® Brand Texas Toast Garlic & Butter Croutons.*
So, the verdict from Shawn? He tried it, and even admitted that it was really good, but I couldn’t convince him to eat a whole bowl full. Oh well, I didn’t feel like sharing anyway!
(I’ve gone through three bags of these croutons in the past two weeks – I think it’s safe to say I’m obsessed! The butter and garlic flavor is bold but neutral, so they go with just about everything, and they’re extra big and crunchy. Besides making a great topper for creamy soups like this one, they’re perfect as a stand in for baguette on French onion soup.)
Goat cheese can vary in flavor pretty drastically from brand to brand – some are much stronger and more "goat-y" than others. To account for this, start with just one ounce of cheese, then stir in more to taste.
- 28 ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, preferably San Marzano
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- salt and pepper
- 1 head garlic
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 small onion, chopped (about ¾ cup)
- 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
- 2 cups low sodium chicken stock
- ¼ cup loosely packed fresh basil, chopped
- 1-2 ounces soft goat cheese (chèvre)
- New York Brand Texas Toast Garlic & Butter Croutons
- Heat oven to 350ºF. Drain the tomatoes, reserving the liquid for later. Cut the tomatoes in half lengthwise and arrange in a roasting pan. Drizzle with half the olive oil; sprinkle with brown sugar, salt, and pepper. Slice the top of the head of garlic. Place on a sheet of foil and drizzle with the remaining oil; wrap completely in foil and set in one corner of the roasting pan, next to the tomatoes, but not touching them. Roast for 45 minutes.
- After the tomatoes have roasted for about 30 minutes, melt the butter in a soup pot set over medium heat. Add the onion and carrot; cool until soft – about 10 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes and four garlic cloves (save any remaining cloves for another use). Stir in the stock, basil and reserved tomato juice. Simmer for 5 minutes. Puree, either with an immersion blender or by transferring to a traditional blender.
- Melt in 1 ounce of goat cheese. Taste, adding additional goat cheese, salt, and pepper as desired.
- Divide the soup between four bowls and top with croutons.
Disclosure: I have been invited to participate in a Marzetti® ambassador program. This post is sponsored by Marzetti and product has been provided by them. The opinions and ideas expressed here are my own. Thank you for helping support the brands that keep me inspired in the kitchen.