I just made this soup for lunch today. In fact, it is still simmering on the stove for about 40 more minutes. But, even the 'young' soup is amazingly good. This recipe is adapted from Ina Garten's Roasted Tomato Basil Soup, and oh so good.
3 pounds ripe plum tomatoes, cut in half (I used Roma Tomatoes)
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons good olive oil (I used less)
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper (I am not a big pepper fan, so I used about 1/2 a teaspoon total)
2 cups chopped yellow onions (2 onions)
6 garlic cloves, minced (garlic lover here - I used almost 10 cloves)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter (I only had salted on hand, and it came out fine)
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (this is a MUST, but if you don't like spicy, cut that in half)
1 (28-ounce) canned plum tomatoes, with their juice
4 cups fresh basil leaves, packed (who has 4 cups of basil leaves on hand? I used 1 tablespoon dried, crushed in my hand)
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (1/4 teaspoon dried and crushed in my hand)
1 quart chicken stock or water (uh yeah - stock is expensive, so I used broth made from bullion cubes)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Toss together the tomatoes, 1/4 cup olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread the tomatoes in 1 layer on a baking sheet and roast for 45 minutes.
In an 8-quart stockpot over medium heat, saute the onions and garlic with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the butter, and red pepper flakes for 10 minutes, until the onions start to brown. Add the canned tomatoes, basil, thyme, and chicken stock. Add the oven-roasted tomatoes, including the liquid on the baking sheet. Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for 40 minutes. Pass through a food mill fitted with the coarsest blade. Taste for seasonings. Serve hot or cold.Personal Adaptations: In the ingredients list above, I have obviously made notes. Other than that, and because I don't have a food mill, after sauteing the onions and garlic, I put the tomatoes from the oven and onion mixture in the food processor and pulsed it until pretty smooth, but still had small lumps in it. Then, I put the whole can of tomatoes in the food processor and gave that a rough-ish chop, but somewhat smooth. (I tend to like my soups with some substance. My husband does not, so when it's done, I will probably have to put a few servings in the blender or food processor for him to make it really smooth). When serving, I will put a chiffonad of fresh basil on the top and serve it with some parmesan crisps from the oven. You can also serve this cold with a dollop of creme fresch on top (but that stuff tastes like sour cream to me and I don't really like cold soup). Enjoy!!!!