Roasting the tomatoes brings out the flavor – it’s worth the time and effort!
Preheat over to 375 F. If you have convection roast, even better.
Core and quarter (smaller if tomato is quite large) enough tomatoes to cover a cookie sheet – I use a mixture of reds, Purple Cherokee and Green Zebra Stripe. Now add sliced onion (I love the Candy Tufts from the stand), peppers (any mixture you like – I use Key Largos and Sweet Italian), five or six cloves garlic. How many? Depends on how much flavor you want to add. I use one large or two smaller onions, four or five peppers.
Drizzle with olive oil and add some salt and fresh ground pepper. Now toss everything around till all the pieces have an oil coating, and arrange the tomatoes cut side down on the cookie sheet.
Roast at 375 F for about 20 minutes. Turn the oven off just when the tops of the tomatoes and onions are threatening to turn black.
Let cool, then put into soup pot and simmer about half an hour till everything is soft and happy to go through the food mill. Let cool again, and put through a food mill to remove seeds and skins.
Put the purified liquid back in the soup pot, add 1 quart chicken broth (low sodium is a good idea), some chopped basil, thyme or whatever herbs you like. Simmer, lid on, for up to an hour.
Now let your creative cooking genie take over – I like to add fresh corn kernels. It could be a base for chicken or beef vegetable soup or just heat up a crouton and have some tomato soup.
It freezes well. We lunched on tomato soup through the winter.
– Shannon Sollinger
Virginia Correspondent/Lancaster Farming