Sunday, October 21, 2012

Roasted Tomato Soup

Roasted Tomato Soup

Back in the day - in my teens and early twenties, I did a lot of babysitting. 

For cashy money.  Gurl needed a curly perm!

Though, I didn’t take on many actual babies - preferring to "watch" pre-adolescents in need of an earnest cook/minder.

My specialty was Campbell’s Tomato Soup and grilled cheese (Kraft slices, white bread, butter) –made with the ubiquitously soft, and crispy-when-fried Wonder Bread.

Through an ordinary sitter’s day of distractions hijinks over-stimulation, I discovered that if the soup hit the boil-over mark, it tasted much better.  And they liked it - they really, really, liked it - for the impromptu hysterics, if nothing else.

(Yes, the ultimate secret to souper yumminess and babysitter success is making a total mess.)

It was quite the culinary discovery, and one I hope my past charges remember with the humor and fondness we had at the time. 

I meant it for the best.

In this one-upped tomato soup recipe, I have once again dragged an old-time staple into the forties.

(And that would be my forties).

What follows are simple techniques that take only time, loving, and fresh ingredients.

(A soup can’t help but turn out right with local produce; and I thank both Arethusa and Half Pint farms for providing such delicious ingredients.)

Yup, threw some bacon on that!

Oven-Roasted Tomato Soup
Makes 6 Cups, 6-8 servings

3-4 lbs. Tomatoes, Thick Sliced
1 Head Garlic, Cut horizontally
1 Large Onion, Quartered
1 Quart Stock (chicken or vegetable)
Melted Bacon Fat (or local oil)
Kosher Flake Salt

Equipment: Sheet Pan, 4-quart Saucepan, Blender, Sieve  

Preheat oven to 425f.  Spread 3-4 TB of fat/oil on sheet pan, place vegetables on cut side down. 

Sprinkle lightly with salt and roast for 40 min. to an hour, until caramelized. Repeat process until all are done.

Remove onion, garlic cloves, and tomatoes to saucepan. Add stock; simmer to reduce by half, 30- 40 minutes.

Let cool slightly.
Pureed roasted tomatoes, garlic, onions.
Process in blender until smooth. 

Pass through sieve to remove any solids.

Taste, salt if necessary, and serve.

Roasted Tomato Soup with Bacon