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Roasted Tomato Soup with Basil

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Back by popular demand, this is the recipe for my favorite soup to make as we approach the fall - Roasted tomato soup with basil! After years of trying to get the perfect recipe for tomato soup I feel that I've finally mastered it (or at least my friends lead me to believe I have :] ).

Ingredients

  • 1 large vidalia onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 (28 ounce) can whole tomatoes in juice
  • 28 ounces tomato juice
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 10 basil leaves, plus some for garnish (if you choose)
  • 2 oz sundried tomatoes, packed in oil
  • 4 roma or plum tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (option, for a little kick!)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place sliced roma tomatoes on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle each tomato with salt and pepper and top with a basil leaf. Place in oven and roast for 1 hour. (I recommend longer if you can wait. Do this first before you chop all your vegetables, as the longer they can stay in the oven, the more the flavor will develop).

  2. Saute the onions and garlic in a stock pot / dutch oven for 10 minutes over medium low heat, until the onions are soft and slightly brown.

  3. Add the tomatoes, bay leaf,  2 basil leaves, cayenne pepper, sundried tomatoes and tomato juice; bring to almost a boil and then simmer covered for 35 minutes.

  4. Remove cover and simmer for additional 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes.

  5. Cut the cream cheese into cubes and drop into the soup, allowing them to soften by the heat of the soup for 10 minutes.

  6. While the cream cheese is softening, remove the roasted tomatoes from the oven and let stand for 5 minutes. Remove skins and place pulp into the soup, seeds and all. (Removing the skins is vitally important, otherwise you'll end up with chunks in your soup!) Add the cup of half and half as well and stir it all together.

  7.  Blend the soup in batches using a blender (I have a Ninja with 6 blades that rocks!) or an immersion blender in the pot. The key here is to really blend the soup for at least a minute on each batch so it gets really smooth and creamy.

  8. Add back to the stock pot and season to taste with salt and pepper.

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