I don’t know about you, but when it’s cold outside and you’re trapped in the house buried under many feet of snow, all I want to do is eat. Every year I put on what I like to affectionately call my winter weight. Cold outside = comfort food inside. Soups. Stews. Meat loaf. Mashed potatoes. One of my favourite comfort foods is soup. I could eat soup every day. Brothy. Creamy. Noodley. You name it. I’ll eat it. And one of my ultimate winter cravings is tomato soup. Homemade tomato soup, with a grilled cheese sandwich. I’m in heaven! This is a very easy to make tomato soup. Make it once and you’ll never go back to canned tomato soup again. I know tomatoes aren’t in season in Canada in the winter. But you can usually find hot-house or greenhouse tomatoes at your local supermarket or farmers market. Or there are always imports. This soup would ideally be made with fresh tomatoes in summer, when they’re at their peak of perfection. But, trust me, this is definitely a winter indulgence.
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Fun Fact of the Day: Tomatoes can be grown in most of the country, but it’s always best to start the seeds early in a greenhouse if you can. Plant your seeds around end of March/early April. By the time the warm weather hits, you’ll have seedlings that are a least a few inches tall. This will help your tomatoes flourish in the brief summer months. Every year, farmers across Canada produce up to one million tonnes of tomatoes! Now that’s a lot of tomato soup!
- Approx. one pound of tomatoes
- 2-3 cloves of garlic
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 2 tbs tomato puree
- 2 tbs olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 375F. Cut tomatoes in half, and lay them in a baking dish cut side up. Chop garlic and sprinkle over top of tomatoes. Drizzle with olive oil, and add salt and pepper.
- Roast tomatoes for about 30-40 minutes, or until they start to char a little on the edges, intensifying their flavour.
- In the mean time, heat your broth in a saucepan and dissolve the tomato puree in it.
- When tomatoes are roasted, remove from oven and let cool.
- In a food processor, or with a hand blender, puree the tomatoes (in batches if you need to) with the broth. I had my broth in a large saucepan, so I added my tomatoes to it and used a hand blender. But it just as easy to put everything in the food processor. Add some final salt and pepper to taste.
Paolo Zinatelli is a writer for Spectator Tribune. Follow him at: @paoloz5