Roasted Tomato Soup

By slow roasting the veggies, this soup has an incredible richness and depth of flavor. Though I chose to top it with a bit of shaved Parmesan cheese, this soup is otherwise completely vegan...and completely fabulous. Though sugar wasn't in the original recipe (adapted from here), I added a pinch because my tomatoes were a bit on the acidic side. It was enough to take the edge off. I also added additional salt, because I used low sodium vegetable stock.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 1 hour, 20 minutes
Yield: serves 6

Ingredients:

3 pounds of Roma tomatoes, halved and seeded
2 red bell peppers, quartered and seeded
1 medium onion, quartered
 8 cloves of garlic, peeled
2 teaspoons, chopped fresh thyme leaves
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper
1 (6 ounce) can of tomato paste
6 cups of vegetable stock
Pinch of sugar (optional)
Basil leaves, thinly sliced (for garnish)
Shaved Parmesan (for garnish)

Preparation:

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
 
2. Place tomatoes, peppers, onion, garlic and thyme on a sheet pan and toss them with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Flip the tomatoes and peppers so they are skin side up and roast for 45-50 minutes until they are lightly charred and tender.

3. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large stock pot. Add the tomato paste and mix well. Scrape the veggies (and any juice) into the pot and stir to combine. Add the stock (I added 6 cups of water and 3 packets of veggie stock concentrate) and stir well. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

4. Let the soup cool for at least 10 minutes. Blending hot soup is very dangerous, so do not skip this step. Transfer the soup in batches to blender (or use an immersion blender).  The blender should only be about 1/3 full. Carefully vent the corner of the lid to allow steam to escape and pulse until the soup is blended thoroughly. Pour blended soup into a large bowl and continue blending the rest of the soup until it is all smooth.

5. Pour soup back into the large stockpot, and taste for seasoning. Add a pinch of sugar (if using), salt and pepper to taste. Heat the soup to warm through, ladle into bowl and top with basil and Parmesan cheese if desired.
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