Roasted Tomato Soup with Basil Oil
“Canned tomatoes are roasted and transformed into a rich, flavorful soup then garnished with a simple homemade basil-infused olive oil.”
It’s simple to pick up one of the many cans of soup that line the aisles at the grocery store. These days you can even purchase soup made by your favorite television chef. While I love the convenience of canned soup, I just don’t seem to like the taste of many of them. The ones I have tasted recently have been boring and bland or loaded with unnecessary ingredients. Some have been so salty that they are barely palatable. For those reasons, I make my own. This Roasted Tomato Soup with Basil Oil is a grown-up version of a childhood favorite. It’s a breeze to make and it won’t break your budget either.
Making the Roasted Tomato Soup is simple and doesn’t require fancy tools. All you need is a cutting board, a knife, a sheet pan and a blender. The glorious thing about soup, particularly this one, is that you can take very simple ingredients and turn them into something delicious. By using canned, whole tomatoes, you can skip worrying about how you’re going to peel off those tomato skins. By chopping up the other vegetables and roasting them with the tomatoes, you cut down the time you have to spend at the stovetop and get the added benefit of caramelization from the oven. With a few quick whirls in the blender, you’ll have a hearty tomato soup that pairs perfectly with grilled cheese. Or pair it with my pan-seared turbot filets for a perfect Valentine’s Day dinner.
Making your own soup is also a nutritious way to use inexpensive and readily available ingredients. Canned tomatoes are an excellent source of lycopene, an antioxidant that may prevent some types of cancer. Making your own soup also means more flavor without the extra salt. This is a good thing, considering too much salt is bad for your heart and overall health.
The next time you crave soup, I challenge you to make it instead of buying it. You will reap the benefits of healthier ingredients, while relishing in the satisfaction of enjoying something you cooked yourself.
Food Safety Tip: Most soups freeze well, especially this roasted tomato soup. Be sure to cool the soup thoroughly before freezing it. Once cooled, place it in a shallow container for storage. Leave some space at the top for expansion. Label and date the frozen soup and remember to reheat it to 165°F before serving.
Baked Sweet Potato Mash
For the soup:
- 1-28 ounce can whole, peeled tomatoes
- 1 small onion, peeled, washed, stems removed and quartered
- 2 medium carrots, washed and peeled, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
- 2 medium celery stalks, washed, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled
- Kosher salt, pinch
- Freshly cracked black pepper, pinch
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
For the basil oil:
- 1 cup packed basil
- ¼ cup olive oil
- Crushed red pepper, if desired, to taste
To make the soup:
- Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
- Drain and squeeze the juice out of the tomatoes, reserve the liquid. Spread the tomatoes out in an even layer on the baking sheet. Scatter the onion, carrots, celery and garlic* among the tomatoes. Drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Place pan in the oven and roast for 50 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking time.
- Carefully transfer mixture to a large pot. Add the vegetable broth and the reserved tomato liquid. Using an immersion blender, puree the mixture until smooth. (Note: You can also use a standard blender, just be careful when blending hot liquids).
- Add the bay leaf and place the pot over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a simmer then, cover, reduce, the heat and cook for 15 minutes.
- Stir in the vinegar and remove the bay leaf. Portion into bowls and serve with a drizzle of basil oil.
To make the basil oil:
- Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the basil and cook for about 20 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, remove the basil and shock it immediately in a bowl of ice cold water, about 30 seconds. Remove the basil from the water and drain, squeezing out any excess moisture. Place basil in the bottom of a blender or food processor and pour olive oil over the top, puree until basil is chopped and incorporated in the oil. Drizzle as a garnish for the soup.
- This recipe will make more oil than you may need for the recipe. Keep extra oil covered and refrigerated for up to one week. Use it for salad dressings, pizza, a dip for breads or a condiment for sandwiches.
- *Tip: If the garlic begins to burn, protect it by placing it inside a tomato for the remainder of the cooking time.
Sara Haas, RDN, LDN, is a Chicago-based dietitian and chef. She currently works with Roche Dietitians as well as Centered Chef, is a Food & Nutrition contributing editor, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics spokesperson, and is also the voice of The Eating Right Minute, a public service announcement of the Academy that airs daily on WBBM Newsradio, 780 and 105.9 FM. Find her helpful lifestyle tips on Twitter.