Tomato Soup with Basil Pesto

Homemade Tomato Soup

Homemade Tomato Soup with Basil Pesto

Yield: About 3 quarts
Hands-on time: 45 minutes
Total cooking time: 2½ hours

There’s nothing quite like homegrown tomatoes, and fresh tomato soup, served with a thick slice of toasted bread, is one of the best ways to enjoy them. In this recipe, we roast the tomatoes first, which not only helps deepen the flavor, but also makes a thicker soup as the sugars caramelize and some of the moisture evaporates in the oven. It’s fine to use a mix of different tomato varieties for this tomato soup recipe, as long as they are of similar size so the cooking time for is the same for all. Or, divide smaller and bigger tomatoes on two separate sheets and remove the smaller ones earlier in the cooking time. This homemade tomato soup can also be easily frozen and stored for up to 6 months—just leave out the cheese when freezing, then add it when reheating.

Ingredients:
4 tablespoons olive oil
6 lbs fresh tomatoes
10 garlic cloves
1 sweet onion, chopped
2 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground cumin
1-2 teaspoons kosher salt
¼ cup mascarpone cheese or Greek yogurt
Heavy cream and Basil Pesto (recipe follows), to serve
Ground black pepper and basil leaves for garnish

Directions:
Preheat oven to 325℉. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper; brush paper with 2 tablespoons olive oil.

Slice off stem-end of tomatoes and cut each in half crosswise. Remove seeds with a spoon, if desired. Place tomatoes cut side down on oiled parchment. Scatter garlic cloves among tomatoes. Roast for 1 to 1½ hours or until the skins are very wrinkled and the juices around the tomatoes have started to brown. Let tomatoes cool for 15 minutes. Carefully remove skins and discard.

In a large stock pot or Dutch oven, heat remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add chopped onion and sauté for 10 minutes. Add skinned tomatoes, garlic, stock, pepper, ginger, and cumin. Using an immersion blender, purée soup until completely smooth. (Ingredients can instead be placed in a blender, puréed, and returned to the pot if you do not have an immersion blender.) Stir in 1 teaspoon salt; adjust to taste.

Bring soup to a simmer. Once bubbling, whisk in mascarpone until fully incorporated; remove from heat. Serve tomato soup immediately with a generous swirl of Basil Pesto and heavy cream. Garnish with pepper and basil leaves, if desired.

Basil Pesto
2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoons pine nuts, walnuts, or blanched almonds
4 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
¼ cup olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
¼ teaspoon salt

Add all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the basil and nuts are finely chopped. Adjust salt, if necessary. Pesto can be stored in an airtight container for up to a week and frozen for up 3 months.

Recipes and photography by Sarah Ward