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Sunday, September 16, 2012

Cheesy Roasted Tomato Soup

Back in June, I attended the International Conference on Infant Studies in Minneapolis. It was a great conference... I learned a lot and received great feedback on my publication. Also, my friend Lauren and I stumbled upon a great little restaurant called "The Local." We enjoyed our meal so much the first day that we went back the next day.

On The Local's menu, they have this incredible soup called Baked Cheddar and Tomato Soup. This soup is amazing! Creamy, tart, cheesy.

So of course, as soon as I came home I decided to make my own. Overall, I think its a pretty close replication of the Local's recipe. I think next time I make it, I'm going to also roast a potato or two with the other veggies so that I can get some of the creamy/starchy-ness from them.

Cheesy Roasted Tomato Soup
7 Roma/Plum tomatoes
1 Red bell pepper
1 Medium Red Onion
6-8 cloves garlic
2 medium potatoes, peeled (optional)
Olive oil
Balsamic Vinegar
4 leaves of basil
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 small can of tomato paste
32 oz veggie broth
8 oz sharp cheddar cheese + more for serving
salt & pepper
French bread
immersion blender

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Oil the bottom of a 13x9 pan, and place veggies (tomatoes, pepper, onion, garlic, potatoes...largely chunked) into it. Drizzle a little more oil on top. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar, then sprinkle with salt and pepper, toss to coat. Put the pan into the oven for 20-25 minutes until well roasted, stirring once.

While the veggies are roasting, prepare the soup base. In a large soup pot (I used a large dutch oven for even heating), drizzle a few tablespoons of oil in. Put all of the tomato paste into the oil and stir over medium heat to smooth out. Pour in 3/4 of the carton of broth, and stir until well combined. When the veggies are done, use a slotted spoon to put them into the broth (you don't want too much of the oil from the roasting pan in the soup). Bring to a boil, then simmer for 15+ minutes until all the veggies are soft. Tear up the basil leaves and add into soup. If you want, you can add 1/4 cup of dry white wine (I did not do this). Add 1/4 cup of heavy cream and shredded cheese. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup until thick and creamy. Serve with more cheese and a large chunk of french bread.

Big pot o' yummy!

Update: I made this soup again... this time without peppers and added a good sized clump (~1/2 cup) of sundried tomatoes and a few tablespoons of pesto! Amazing!

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