Cooking Corner

Fire Roasted Tomato Soup

It’s happening. Fall is officially here, which means two things: soups are in and summer produce is quickly going away! I cannot take much credit for this recipe beyond the additions I have made to suit it to my taste. Nick Dockstader made this soup. His goal was to come up with a simple soup that focused on the tomato, without interference from other flavor components. He fire-roasted the tomatoes and blended them into a simple soup, served with grilled cheese sandwiches. I really enjoyed this soup. My only criticism was that it was acidic, as tomato soup often is. I add a little sugar to balance the acidity. If you don’t want to add sugar, the cream helps as well.

6-7 large tomatoes

1 medium onion

2-3 sprigs of thyme

3-4 cloves of garlic

2 TBSP sugar

2-3 TBSP of olive oil

Salt and pepper

 

20170913_204355 (2)The first step in this recipe is to get a wood fire going. The goal is to really char the skin from the tomatoes. You can start a wood fire (preferably oak or some other hardwood) in a charcoal grill or other contained space. If you want, you could put the tomatoes directly in the fire. If it is hot enough, you won’t need to keep them in there for long. Once the skins have blackened, remove them and allow them to cool. Remove most of the char by wiping them with your hands. Some char in the soup contributes a smoky flavor. You could rinse the char away if you prefer. Put a pan over medium heat, add olive oil, and add onions as soon as the oil is hot. Cook until translucent. Crush garlic and add it to the onions. Add the tomatoes before the garlic starts to brown. Cook for about 10 minutes, or until the tomatoes start to break down. Use an immersion blender to blend to the desired consistency. I prefer a little smoother consistency but you could do it however you like. Add the sugar, starting with one TBSP and add more if needed. Tomatoes can vary in acidity so you may not need a lot. Add the thyme sprigs and simmer over low heat for about 20 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.

You can serve this with any sort of sandwich you prefer. I would take this opportunity to indulge in a delicious grilled cheese. We used ciabatta and sharp cheddar for ours. The large holes in the bread allowed the cheese to melt onto the pan and created a cheesy crust that was delightful. The fat tempered the acidity really well. It would be great with a dollop of crème fraiche or slightly whipped cream on top.

 

 

 

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