Roasted Tomato Soup and a New Apartment

Good news! We had a successful house hunting trip to San Francisco last week and nailed down a cute, one bedroom apartment in Pacific Heights. Even better news - it's a pink building! We're relieved we have somewhere to live now that all our stuff is rolling across the country on an 18-wheeler. Time sure does fly! But before I leave I'm soaking up all my favorite Chicago things.

This past Wednesday, yes Wednesday, I made my final trip the the Green City Market. My only weekday visit in 5 years, was a good one. No babies. No dogs. Minimal Lulu attire. Just open road with tomatoes and peppers for days. I only have a few days left of being a stay-at-home-girlfriend so I'm putting them to good use.

I had to repost this tomato soup recipe because it's just so good and I want you guys to make it this fall. Go stock up on summer's last heirloom tomatoes, make a batch of this soup and freeze it. It's the best. 

Roasted Tomato and Garlic Soup

3 1/2 pounds heirloom tomatoes (or any nice looking variety)
2 medium carrots (no need to peel, just wash)
1 garlic head (1/4 inch of the head removed and excess paper removed)
2 shallots or 1 yellow onion (diced)

2 stalks celery (diced)
2 tbsp tomato paste
6-8 cups homemade chicken broth
1/2 cup cream
2 tbsp basil (rough chop)
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Toss carrots, tomatoes and garlic head in olive oil, salt and pepper. Transfer to foil lined baking sheets and pop in the oven. Remove the carrots after 20 minutes, and give a rough chop. Let the tomatoes and garlic cook for 35-40 minutes, turning over once or twice. Don't let them burn though! 

Cool and remove skins from both the tomatoes and garlic. Keep in a bowl or cutting board with deep juice groove until ready to add to soup. There will be tons of juice that releases from the tomatoes while roasting. Be super careful not to lose any of it! 

In a large soup pot, heat 2 tbsp unsalted butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add shallot, celery, salt and pepper and cook for about 10 minutes. Add tomato paste, crushed red pepper flakes and carrots and cook for another 7 minutes. Add a bit more salt.

Pour all the chicken broth into the pan and raise heat to medium high. Add both roasted tomatoes and  roasted garlic cloves (already peeled out of the skin) into the pan. Add some salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and let cook for 30 minutes, covered.

Turn off heat. Add basil to the soup. Puree mixture with an immersion blender or run through a food processor. Stir in the cream. Taste, and adjust salt and pepper.

This makes a ton of soup, so be sure to freeze for later this fall when the fresh tomatoes are long gone.

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