This soup is a labor of love. It’s not hard, but it is time-consuming. Do it on a chilly morning when you have lots of chores to do but would rather be milling around your kitchen and filling your house with the amazing scents of roasted yummy things. I am a huge fan of homemade soups. It’s a bit more labor intensive than opening a can, of course. Which can be nice when you’re in a pinch. But, if you have a little bit of time once or twice a month, you can make homemade soup and freeze it in individual containers. Then, when you’re in the mood for soup or maybe feeling a bit under the weather, it’s just as easy and maybe even quicker than opening a can. And certainly tastes much better than soup from a can.
Homemade soup soothes the soul, fills your house with comfort smells, and cures what ails you. When you set aside time in your busy life to create something with your own hands, something miraculous happens. I’m pretty sure that homemade soup is one of those blessings that we surely don’t deserve but God decided he would give it to us anyway to remind us of how important it is to cherish the “little” things in this life.
Roasted Tomato, Pepper, & Basil Soup
1 16oz. Container of Compari Tomatoes On The Vine (About eight)
8 Large Tomatoes On The Vine
Three Small “ish” Bell Peppers (I used a yellow, orange, and red)
1/2 Sweet White Onion
1 Whole Head of Garlic (Yes, an entire head, don’t panic, the roasting smooths it out nicely)
1 32oz. Container of GF Chicken Broth
1/4 Cup Fresh Basil, chopped
2 Bay Leaves
Dutch Oven or Medium Soup Pot
Heavy Duty Blender
Heat grill to high (about 450-475) and heat oven to 400 degrees.
Wash and dry tomatoes and peppers. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice the Compari tomatoes in half and remove the core, seeds, and stem piece. Place on parchment and drizzle with olive oil. Grind a little sea salt over the top.
Place the peppers on the hot grill and grill until they are charred, turning every now and then. Remove from grill when they are mostly charred. Place them in a zipper plastic bag and seal so that they can steam and cool.
While the peppers are charring and then steaming, roast the Compari tomatoes in preheated oven for about 35 minutes or so, or until they flatten and begin to look concentrated.
Remove from oven onto dish and set aside.
Quarter the large tomatoes and remove the core and stem end only. Leave seeds intact. Place on the same parchment lined sheet you did the Compari tomatoes on and drizzle with olive oil. Grind sea salt over the top and sprinkle with garlic powder. Place in preheated oven and roast for about 45 minutes or until they begin to slightly caramelize on top. Remove from oven onto dish and set aside.
Once the peppers are cooled, remove from the bag and peel off skin. Remove the membranes and seeds.
Then, slice the peppers and set aside.
Cut the top part of the head off of a clump of garlic. Place on a medium-sized piece of tin foil and drizzle (generously) with olive and a few grinds of sea salt.
Wrap the head up tight.
Bake in preheated oven for about 1 hour until the individual cloves are roasted nicely and are mushy.
Remove from oven, unwrap and squeeze out all of the heads into a ramekin or onto a plate and set aside.
Dice the 1/2 onion and place in a dutch oven with a medium drizzle of olive oil. Saute slowly until they are translucent and golden. Remove all onions and bits from pan and set aside.
Do not rinse the pan, you will use it after a couple more steps.
Gather all of your ingredients.
Place the vine tomatoes in the blender first (they are the juiciest), then the Compari tomatoes and the peppers. Next, add the onion, garlic, basil, and half of the chicken stalk. Blend (starting on low so you don’t end up with soup on your ceiling) until smooth. Pour into the dutch oven and add the remaining chicken stock and bay leaves. Stir and bring to a boil. Turn heat down and simmer very slowly for 1 hour.
Makes about 6 nice sized servings and also freezes well.