I was watching the Barefoot Contessa the other day while she made homemade tomato soup, not hard to do really. I started to wonder why I’ve never made it myself?
I think it is perhaps time to put away the childhood version of tomato soup from the can, We deserve a more refined, grown up version, and there’s also the fact that the little red and white can is definitely not gluten free.
This soup is clean eating at it’s best, with fire roasted tomatoes, onions, carrots, fennel, and roasted garlic . Perfect for these cool and rainy days we have been seeing more and more of. Also, with each passing day getting darker a bit earlier then the last. What better excuse is there for a big bowl of soup for dinner?
Tomato Soup with Roasted Garlic and Herbed Croutons, a crisp green salad, a glass of white wine.
How’s that for a grown up dinner?
- 1 head of garlic, cloves still in skin but separated from bulb
- 1/4 cup good olive oil
- 2 cups chopped yellow onion (2 onions)
- 1 cup medium-diced carrots, unpeeled (3 carrots)
- 1 fennel bulb, trimmed, cored, and medium-diced (1 1/2 cups)
- 2 (28-ounce) cans fire roasted tomatoes or good Italian plum tomatoes
- 4 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
- 1/2 cup dry red wine
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup cream, I used 1/2 and 1/2 (best if room temperature)
- For the topping:
- 3 cups (1-inch) diced GF baguette cubed
- 2 Tbs thyme
- 24 to 30 whole fresh basil leaves
- 3 tablespoons good olive oil, plus more for serving
- Salt and pepper
- 2 thick cuts of pancetta diced, or a few strips of thick cut bacon diced (if using)
Lay out a square of foil and place garlic cloves and 3 Tbs olive oil in middle.
Pull sides up and pinch into a purse, place on sheet pan and slice into oven.
Bake for 20-25 mins, or until cloves soft and fragrant. Set aside.
Heat the oil in a large stockpot over medium heat.
Add the onions, carrots, fennel, and cook over medium-low heat for approx. 10 minutes.
Add the tomatoes to the pot along with the chicken stock, red wine, roasted garlic, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper.
Bring the soup to a boil, lower the heat, and allow to simmer, partially covered, for 30 minutes.
In batches puree in food processor or blender until smooth, returning each batch to a clean pot.
Add the cream, turn heat to low and bring back to a simmer.
In the meantime preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
In large bowl add olive oil and thyme, toss in bread cubes and coat well.
Lay out on baking sheet, scatter the basil leaves throughout, add bacon if using
Bake for 15-20 mins stirring now and then, until bread is nicely browned and bacon is crisp.
Ladle soup into warmed bowls, top with croutons, basil and bacon and drizzle a bit of good olive oil all over.