My roasted tomato soup is strictly for tomato lovers!
And there are lots of us tomato lovers out there! Who knew the modest tomato could produce such a luxurious dish? Vegetarian to boot. Don’t change anything: Every single ingredient does its magic in this heavenly tomato soup. I often serve it at Seder dinners, or other long and elaborate dinners, not only to knock their socks off but also to mitigate the length and richness of the feast. Try the tomato soup cold too sometime!
Only plum tomatoes or beefsteak tomatoes will do.
They are the meatiest and contain the least moisture. Do not attempt to make the tomato soup with other varieties of tomatoes, as they won’t stand up to roasting. Grape tomatoes, cherry tomatoes and other very juicy tomatoes are wonderful in salads, so save them for these treats.
- 5 pounds best-quality tomatoes (about 7–8 large beefsteak, or 18 plum tomatoes), split across, quartered if using the beefsteak ones
- 3 heads garlic, points sliced off, leaving the cloves exposed
- 4 medium purple onions, peeled and split across
- 3 red peppers, halved and seeded
- Sea salt to taste
- Vegetable oil spray
- 10 cups water (21⁄2 quarts) 1⁄2 cup olive oil
- 1 cup dry white wine (liquor stores)
- 2 cups tomato juice
- 1⁄4 cup tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 4 sprigs rosemary, 2 if they are very large, leaves only
- 6 sprigs thyme, leaves only
- 2 good pinches saffron threads
- Ground pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Spread the first set of ingredients on a cookie sheet lined with foil or parchment and spray generously with vegetable oil spray. Roast for about 45 minutes until the vegetables look charred (the garlic heads might take a little longer). As soon as they are cool enough to handle, squeeze the garlic heads until all the flesh is forced out of its skin into a wide heavy pot. Add the other roasted vegetables and all remaining ingredients except pepper, and bring to a boil. Reduce the flame to medium and cook covered for 30 minutes.
Add the ground pepper. If you used whole rosemary and thyme sprigs, discard them at this point. Cream with an immersion blender until perfectly smooth. Adjust the texture and seasonings. Serve hot as is or with croutons (page 102). Makes a dozen ample servings.