The 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.
- 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
To fire roast the tomato:
- 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.)
- When the grill is ready, place the tomato skin side down on the grill.
- Cook until the skins are blackened, about 3 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
- Then peel the tomatoes, coarsely chop them, and set aside in a small bowl.
To make the tomato soup:
- In a 2-quart stockpot, heat the oil over medium heat.
- Add the onion and cook, stirring until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Next, add the garlic and curry powder and stir another minute, until fragrant.
- Finally, add the tomatoes, stock, half and half, and thyme.
- With a wooden spoon, give a stir and then bring to a gentle boil.
- Immediately adjust the heat to maintain a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.
- Remove from heat.
- Add the cheese, one handful at a time, stirring with a wooden spoon until it’s melted.
- Use an immersion blender to blend the soup directly in the pot until the ingredients are combined but still slightly chunky.
- 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.