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Roasted Tomato Soup

In this recipe from Chef Ray Garcia, roasting further concentrates the flavor of these early harvested tomatoes. If Early Girls are not available, substitute large plum tomatoes or high-quality canned San Marzano tomatoes.

Ingredients:

  • 20 Early Girl tomatoes
  • 4 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 4 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 leeks, white and light green portions, diced
  • 2 Tbs. roasted garlic
  • 8 cups vegetable stock, plus more as needed
  • 2 Tbs. fresh thyme leaves

Directions:

Position 1 rack in the upper third and 1 rack in the lower third of an oven. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

Cut the tomatoes in half crosswise and transfer to a large bowl. Add 2 Tbs. of the olive oil, season with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Place the tomatoes, cut side up, on 2 baking sheets and transfer to the oven. Roast until the tomatoes are soft and slightly caramelized, about 2 hours, rotating the pans from top to bottom and 180 degrees after 1 hour.

In a Dutch oven over medium heat, warm the remaining 2 Tbs. olive oil. Add the onion, celery and leeks and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the roasted tomatoes, any accumulated juices and the roasted garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes. Add the 8 cups stock and the thyme, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 30 minutes more.

Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender until smooth. Adjust the consistency as needed with more stock and season with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls, drizzle with olive oil and serve immediately. Serves 6 to 8.

Recipe by Ray Garcia, Chef, FIG, Santa Monica, CA.