Roasted Tomato Soup

This was one of those “hmmm, hubby-wants-tomato-soup-for-dinner-since-he-stayed-on-the-couch-sick-all-day,-and-I-don’t-have-any-in-the-cupboard,-and-I’m-too-lazy-to-go-all-the-way-downstairs-to-get-a-computer-to-look-up-a-recipe-but-I-think-I-can-fake-it” soups.  What, you don’t have those days?

So here’s what I did:

I took a handful of grape tomatoes that are starting to get a little soft, put them on a baking sheet and drizzled olive oil over them.  Then I cracked open a can of diced tomatoes, squeezed the juice out of them (saving it for later), and added them to the baking sheet with more olive oil, plus some salt & pepper.  Then I stuck these in the broiler at 500, stirring occasionally.  I didn’t watch the clock, but I bet they were in there for 30 minutes.  I wanted to get a little brown on the tomato skins and a little bit of carmelization on some of the canned tomatoes, since I thought that would intensify the tomato flavor.  They could have been in there for longer, but I was hungry.

In the meantime, I sauteed two diced carrots and a diced onion in some olive oil.  After they were soft, I added two cloves of garlic and probably 1 tsp dried basil.

After the carrot and onion were pretty soft, I added in the reserved tomato juice and 2 c. chicken broth and brought them to a simmer.  I debated one or two cups, but I think two cups was right because otherwise the soup would have been too thick.

When my tomatoes seemed done, I dumped them in the pot with everything else, simmered for a couple of minutes and then pureed as much as possible with my immersion blender.  Then I added about 1/2 c. half-and-half and 1/4 c. red wine.  The wine was sort of last-minute because I saw it sitting on my counter and I felt like the soup flavor was a bit weak, so I wanted to add some zing.

Finally, salt and pepper to taste.

JR liked this; I wasn’t so sure.  I think I used too many carrots and that diluted the tomato flavor.  Also, I maybe would use just a dash of red wine in the future … or maybe some white … or some sherry.  But with the red wine, I kept thinking, “I should have added some parmesan.” (Did you know that Parmesan cheese is so-named because it comes from the Parma region of Italy?)

As tradition would dictate, I had a grilled cheese sandwich with my tomato soup.  Here’s my secret to a good grilled cheese: use lots of butter, and use low heat.  I used to be impatient and use a fairly high heat setting, but that meant I ended up with burnt bread and/or barely melted cheese.  If you use low, you get a great crunch AND delightfully melty cheese that will hopefully run out over the edges a bit so you can nibble on those toasty, crunchy bits!