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Roasted Tomato-Basil Soup

For an easier version of this soup, replace the fresh tomatoes with 4 cups canned fire-roasted tomatoes. Add to the sautéed shallots along with 1 Tbs. of the basil in the second step, and sauté for 5 minutes before adding the wine and water.

Ingredients:

  • 10 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise
  • 4 Tbs. chopped fresh basil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 5 Tbs. olive oil
  • 4 shallots, halved
  • 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Directions:

Roast the tomatoes
Preheat an oven to 400°F.

Arrange the tomato halves, cut side up, in a large roasting pan. Sprinkle 1 Tbs. of the basil and the garlic evenly over the tomatoes, then drizzle 4 Tbs. of the olive oil evenly over them. Roast until the tomatoes are soft when pierced with a fork and the skins slip off easily, about 40 minutes. Remove from the oven. Remove and discard the skins.

Simmer the soup
In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, warm the remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil. When it is hot, add the shallots and sauté until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the roasted tomatoes and garlic, wine and water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, until the tomatoes have broken down, the mixture has thickened and the flavors have blended, about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Puree the soup
Using a food processor or blender, puree the soup, stopping while it is still coarse if you like a rustic soup and continuing until smooth if you want a more refined soup. Return the soup to the pan and reheat to serving temperature. Ladle the soup into warmed bowls, garnish with the remaining 3 Tbs. basil and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Soup, by Georgeanne Brennan (Oxmoor House, 2006).