At least once this summer, buy plenty of plum tomatoes at the farmers market or save some from your garden and make this soup! This is one of the best things I’ve made with fresh tomatoes. Yes you have to boil and peel the tomatoes and roast the garlic in the oven both of which are a few annoying extra steps, but the few extra steps make this soup what it is.
I made this because I was going to visit my brother and he loves tomato basil soup, so I packed some along. We had it for lunch and he completely approved (success :). He loves the tomato soup at Panera Bread and Zuppas, which means I was up against a few competitors, so I’m really excited it turned out. I decided to add in my favorite things that go with tomatoes and basil; first roasted garlic (because I could eat it plain all on it’s own. Yes I’ll admit, sometimes I will roast garlic just to eat it plain on it’s own, mmm the flavor is incredible. But don’t worry, even though it’s one and a half heads of garlic it really is quite mellow. It just adds a delicious garlicky sweetness), then I also added in Asiago because seriously, what would we do without cheese? Nearly everything is better with a generous sprinkling of some sort of cheese. And in this case Asiago was just the first pairing that came to mind both for flavor and it’s smooth yet stringy melting characteristics. Sorry Steve (my husband), I know you hate tomatoes (which should be illegal) but I will get you to eat this soup at least once this summer (you’ll like it if you try it – isn’t that what we teach our kids?) because I have the feeling this is going to be showing up abundantly at our dinner table. Enjoy!
- 3 lbs ripe Roma tomatoes
- 1 1/2 heads garlic (90g)
- 3 1/2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped (1 1/3 cups)
- 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes (I prefer Contadina or Muir Glen)
- 1 (14 oz) can low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 - 2 tsp granulated sugar, to taste
- 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil, plus more for garnish
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 4 oz. Asiago cheese, finely shredded
- fresh croutons, crusty bread or crackers, for serving