Roasted Tomato Soup

After the chopping incident last week (which involved stitches), I have been avoiding any recipes that called for dicing, slicing or chopping vegetables of any kind. I decided to finally try again (just with a dull knife that usually doesn't even break the skin - yes, I know I shouldn't even be allowed to use the knives), and was successful! No limbs were lost, so I was happy before the soup was even ready to taste. Luckily, it was very good tasting, too! Justin really liked this soup, and had two big bowls, along side a grilled cheese sandwich. He did end up adding some hot sauce, so next time I think I will add a pinch of red pepper flakes to increase the heat. J said it was very authentic tasting and said to add it to the rotation. This recipe took longer in prep time than I would have liked - and was messy enough to make clean-up more annoying than usual - but I definitely think this recipe was worth the work.

Roasted Tomato Soup

10 tomatoes (I used cherry, but you can use a mix of heirlooms, cherry, vine and plum tomatoes)
6 cloves garlic, peeled
2 small onions, sliced
Vine cherry tomatoes for garnish (optional) (I omitted)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil (I used vegetable)
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
1 quart chicken stock
2 bay leaves
4 Tbsp. butter
3 Tbsp. Italian seasoning
3/4 cup heavy cream, optional

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash, core and cut the tomatoes into fourths, removing all seeds. Spread the tomatoes, garlic cloves and onions into two casserole dishes or jellyroll pans. (The original recipe used baking sheets, but after two tomatoes fell off my baking sheet and onto the floor of my newly-cleaned oven, then Justin had to fish them out with two wooden spoons, I recommend using something with edges to catch the slippery little suckers.) If using vine cherry tomatoes for garnish, add them as well, leaving them whole and on the vine. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 30-40 minutes, or until caramelized.

Remove roasted tomatoes, garlic and onion from the oven, and transfer to a large stock pot (set aside the roasted vine tomatoes for later.) Add 3/4 of the chicken stock, bay leaves and butter. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until liquid has reduced by a third.

Remove bay leaves from pot, and add Italian seasoning. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup until smooth. (If you do not have an immersion blender, measure out two cups of soup and blend until smooth. Repeat until you have blended all of your soup.) Return soup to low heat, add cream and adjust consistency with remaining chicken stock, if necessary. (I did not need to add any stock to the soup.) Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Garnish in bowl with 3 or 4 roasted vine cherry tomatoes and a splash of heavy cream.

Source: adapted from Tyler Florence