It’s a dismal day here, with a storm approaching: perfect roasting weather. I will roast pretty much any vegetable I can get my hands on, and this easy Rachael Ray soup uses a winning trio of roasted flavors for it rich flavor. The best part, though? Other than turning on the oven and drizzling a little oil, this dish requires practically no labor or effort.
While I cleaned up the house this afternoon, my potatoes, garlic and tomatoes roasted in the oven. An hour later I basically just had to mash, heat and stir. The end result was a light, healthy soup with more flavor and body than could ever come out of a can.
To round out the meal I added some homemade meatballs I had in the freezer. Vegetarians and vegans could add some beans, and any chopped protein would work well in lieu of meatballs. I also made my kids’ favorite Parmesan cheese crisps to place on top of their bowls and added some toasted pine nuts. If you skip the cheese & garnish, though, this virtuous soup is gluten, grain, dairy, sugar and nut-free.
Chunky Roasted Tomato, Potato & Garlic Soup
adapted from Rachael Ray
1 bulb garlic, end trimmed to expose cloves
About 1/3 cup olive oil
salt & pepper
2 large organic baking potatoes
3-4 lbs. plum or vine-ripened tomatoes
2 tbs. chopped fresh thyme
2-3 cups organic chicken or vegetable broth
About 1 cup fresh basil, torn
freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
Preheat oven to 425. Drizzle garlic with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Wrap tightly in aluminum foil.
Meanwhile, prick potatoes several times with a fork and place tomatoes on a large baking sheet. Drizzle tomatoes with olive oil and sprinkle with chopped thyme, salt and pepper.
Place potatoes and garlic on top rack of oven, and tomatoes in bottom or middle. Cook tomatoes and garlic until the tomatoes begin to char on the edges and have their skin burst a bit, about 35-40 minutes. Roast potatoes until tender, about 50-60 minutes.
Once garlic is cool enough to handle, squeeze the roasted cloves into a big pot. Add the cooked potato flesh and juice from the tomatoes and mash. Add the tomatoes themselves and mash again (this works best with a potato masher).
Add broth to pot to thin the soup and stir to combine. Heat over low to integrate everything, and taste and season as necessary (I added a little more salt and some Italian seasoning)**.
Stir in torn basil and serve with freshly grated cheese, if using.
**I also made my soup a little less chunky by using an immersion blender to mix it up a bit. I really wanted to ensure the roasted garlic got evenly mixed in. You can do the same, use just the masher, or add to a blender and pulse to break things up a bit more, if desired.