We would be such assholes if we gave you instructions on the perfect Grilled Cheese, but didn’t talk about tomato soup.
The perfect tomato soup is velvety smooth, without being creamy or rich, and sweet-savory, without tasting like a bowl of marinara. It’s comforting, intensely tomato-y, and refreshing. The secret to turning fresh, late-harvest tomatoes into a fucking yummy lunch that makes you say ridiculous words like “yummy” and “tummy” and makes you feel like your stomach is wearing its favorite sweater is roasting the tomatoes before they go into the pot, adding a touch of dry vermouth, and using a pinch of baking soda to give you control over the acidity.
What’s special about this soup is that it doesn’t have any dairy, so it freezes, cans, and stores really well. We’re big on feeding friends, especially if they need a little extra help, and this is a great recipe to make for folks who don’t have the time, ability, or resources to make dinner in their own kitchen. It’s comforting, easy to heat up, and can be adapted to suit a wide range of dietary needs and restrictions.
- 8 Tomatoes
- 4 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 softball sized Sweet Onion
- 1 small can Tomato Paste
- 1 qt Low (or no!) Sodium Stock— chicken is how we roll because it makes the soup even more savory and satisfying, but vegetable stock is a great choice that tends to give things more body and an earthy richness.
- ½ tsp Baking Soda
- 2-4 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
- 2 tbps Dry Vermouth
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
- Fresh Basil, like a handful
- Preheat your oven to 500°. Wash and quarter the Tomatoes, and arrange them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment or foil, cut side facing up/skins down. Roast the Tomatoes until the start to collapse, about 20 minutes.
- Thinly slice the Onion. Sauté over medium-low heat with Olive Oil, in your biggest, heaviest pot. We think a dutch oven does a particularly nice job. Cook the onions on low until translucent, about 10 minutes, and then turn up the heat to medium high. Continue to cook for another 10 minutes (20 if you can stand it), stirring frequently, until the Onions caramelize.
- Add the Tomato Paste, Stock, and roasted Tomatoes to your Onions. Puree using a stick blender, or whatever you have handy, until smooth. Stir in your ½ tsp of Baking Soda. You will see bubbles and it will be cool. Add Vermouth and Balsamic, to taste.
- Season with salt and pepper and simmer until everything is warm and tastes like soup. We found that simmering the basil in the soup made for a muddier, murky flavor, so use basil like a garnish to keep stuff fresh and bright