The calendar is telling me that Fall has officially arrived, though (as usual) the Paso Robles weather begs to differ – it’s been in the 80’s and 90’s! Despite the heat, I needed to use up some tomatoes (I’ve picked about 6 pounds from our plants in the past couple weeks) and decided to combine two of my favorite things: roasted tomatoes and soup.
I served this with an awesome grilled cheese made with Bravo Sage Cheddar – it was a classy take on the grilled cheese that surprised me with its mild sage flavor (I was worried the sage would be overwhelming, but it was just right).
Roasted Tomato Soup
2 pounds tomatoes
3 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
2.5 cups low-sodium chicken broth (vegetable broth san be substituted to make it vegetarian)
6 fresh sage leaves, for garnish (totally optional)
Halve or quarter tomatoes so that they are all roughly the same size. Arrange in a single layer on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt. Peel garlic cloves and add to sheet. Roast tomatoes and garlic in the oven for three hours, until tomatoes darken and begin to wrinkle.
When the tomatoes have cooled slightly, pour them into a food processor with any juice or extra oil that has gathered in the pan. Pulse until they are roughly pureed.
Combine tomato puree and thyme leaves with broth and stir to incorporate. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer for 20-30 minutes. It will reduce slightly, but turn it off while it is still on the liquid-y side – a bowl of pasta sauce would be a little too rich. Keep warm.
Optional: In a separate pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil. When shimmering, add sage leaves. They crisp up almost instantly. Let drain on paper towels and discard extra oil.
Garnish soup with fried sage leaves – these didn’t add much in the way of flavor, but I like the way they look : )
Great with a grilled cheese on the side, of course!