When things are down and out in Beverly Hills or wherever you just happen to be, there's nothing better than a bowl of Tomato Soup. Good old Campbell's used to be the go to soup of choice in our house, but darn it, there's a new kid on the block.
From one of my favorite cookbooks, Idaho A la Carte, this soup starts with tomatoes roasted for 20 minutes in a hot oven until their edges are brown and crispy along with garlic, oregano and basil. Pureed in the food processor, and joined by red wine, sauteed onion, tomato paste and chicken stock the soup is finished with creamy ricotta cheese, whipping cream and lots of parmesan.
It is incredibly rich in flavor, smooth and silky on the tongue and quite honestly unbelievably soul satisfying, so good the big guy didn't even complain about the fact it was meatless! A dab of fresh spinach pesto puts this bowl of yum right over the top and for certain would help it qualify as a perfect addition to your Holiday table.
As for us, we're all about tradition so we had our soup with dippers - some gooey crispy perfectly golden grilled cheese sandwiches, loaded with sharp cheddar and creamy Velveeta. Is there anything better? Download Roasted Tomato Soup woth Spinach Pesto
Roasted Tomato Soup with Spinach Pesto (adapted from Idaho a la Carte)
1-1/2 pounds ripe roma tomatoes (about 10)
5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon each dried oregano, basil and Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
1/4 cup water
½ cup finely chopped onion
1 cup chicken broth
More oregano, basil and Italian Seasoning to taste
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 cup dry red wine
1/2 cup tomato paste
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
Salt as required
Preheat oven to 475. Core tomatoes, cut in half and place cut side down on flat baking sheet. Drizzle with 3 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with garlic, oregano, basil, Italian season and black pepper. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, or until tomatoes start to brown around the edges. Remove from oven and transfer to food processor, scraping browned bits off bottom of pan and transferring those as well. Add water to baking pan and swish to get all the good stuff. Add to tomatoes in food processor. Process until not quite smooth leaving small chunks and black specks. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan heat remaining two tablespoons olive oil. Sauté onion until soft – about 5 minutes. Add pureed tomatoes, chicken broth, seasonings, red wine and tomato paste. Whisk to incorporate well, then whisk in ricotta, whipping cream and parmesan. Reheat over low heat, stirring occasionally to prevent curdling. Taste for seasoning and add salt as required. Serve topped with a dab of spinach pesto. Serves 4
5 ounces fresh spinach, washed and dried (1/2 package)
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon butter
3 ounces pine nuts (toasted)
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup olive oil
Puree the spinach, salt, garlic, butter, pine nuts and cheese in a food processor until smooth. With the motor running add olive oil slowly and process until completely blended.