This from-scratch tomato soup is made with fresh tomatoes as well as good-quality canned tomatoes, which are always available at the grocery store. Adding red pepper boosts vitamin C even further. Serve with grilled cheese, naturally.
2 lb. Roma (plum) tomatoes, halved lengthwise
1–2 red bell peppers, seeded and halved (optional)
canola or olive oil, for cooking
salt and pepper to taste
1 onion, peeled and chopped
2–3 garlic cloves, crushed
14 oz. (398 ml) can tomatoes, puréed or fire-roasted
4 cups (1 L) chicken or vegetable stock
1/2 tsp (2 ml) thyme
1/2 cup (125 ml) half and half or sour cream (optional)
extra sour cream or bottled
pesto for serving (optional)
Preheat the oven to 450°F. Spread the tomatoes and peppers (if using) cut-side
up on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 30 minutes, or until soft and starting to turn golden on the edges.
In a medium pot, heat a drizzle of oil over medium-high heat and sauté the onion for 5 minutes, or until soft. Add the garlic and cook for another minute, then add the roasted tomatoes and peppers, along with any juices on the bottom of the pan. Add the canned tomatoes, chicken stock and thyme and bring to a simmer; cook for about 20 minutes.
Remove from the heat and using a handheld immersion blender, purée the soup right in the pot. (Alternatively, process it in a blender in batches until smooth.) Blend in the cream, if you’re using it, and serve topped with sour cream, pesto or a sprig of thyme.
Per serving (made with 1 tbsp canola oil and half & half):
167 calories, 6.6 g fat (2.2 g saturated fat, 1.3 g polyunsaturated fat, 3.1 g monounsaturated fat), 7.5 g protein, 20.4 g carbohydrates, 12 mg cholesterol, 3.8 g fibre.
Originally published in ParentsCanada magazine, November/December 2011.