Fire-Roasted Tomato Soup

e combination of fire-roasted tomatoes and Vermont Cheddar is a time-honored favorite in these parts, with the cheese adding depth and smoothness to the smoky, rich tomatoes. Fire-roast your own fresh tomatoes as we do here, or substitute a can of store-bought fire roasted tomatoes for a quick, satisfying soup ready to ladle into bowls after less than half an hour of simmering on the stove. Serve with a perfect grilled cheese sandwich or a side of crunchy cheese straws.

Ingredients:

  • 6 firm, ripe tomatoes, halved (or one 28-oz can for fire roasted tomatoes)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • 8 oz cheddar cheese, grated (about 2 cups)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

Directions:

To fire roast the tomato:

  1. Build a fire in a charcoal grill and let it burn until the coals are covered with white ash. (Or, with a gas grill, turn all the burners to high and heat for 15 minutes.)
  2. When the grill is ready, place the tomato skin side down on the grill.
  3. Cook until the skins are blackened, about 3 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
  5. Then peel the tomatoes, coarsely chop them, and set aside in a small bowl.

To make the tomato soup:

  1. In a 2-quart stockpot, heat the oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion and cook, stirring until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
  3. Next, add the garlic and curry powder and stir another minute, until fragrant.
  4. Finally, add the tomatoes, stock, half and half, and thyme.
  5. With a wooden spoon, give a stir and then bring to a gentle boil.
  6. Immediately adjust the heat to maintain a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.
  7. Remove from heat.
  8. Add the cheese, one handful at a time, stirring with a wooden spoon until it’s melted.
  9. Use an immersion blender to blend the soup directly in the pot until the ingredients are combined but still slightly chunky.
  10. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve warm.

This soup can be stored in the fridge for 4-5 days, or frozen for up to six months! Make a few batches when your tomato plants are in season and freeze to enjoy all winter long. Nothing quite chases off that January chill like a big bowl of this tomato soup.

For more delicious recipes, be sure to visit the Food and Drink section of our blog.

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