My good neighbor (and friend) presented me with a small bowl of five greenish Roma tomatoes from her garden before heading out of town for a short get away. I placed the tomatoes in a small pottery bowl on a shelf where the morning sun gently ripened the skin from a green to a rich red. It took just over a week, so I had plenty of time to think about what I would transform them into. Hw to make a meal simply of tomatoes? Soup!
Roasting tomatoes creates a texture somewhere between that of a fresh tomato and a sun-dried tomato, and concentrates as well as sweetens the flavor. I decided to roast the garden tomatoes along with some grape tomatoes that were starting to wrinkle, along with sliced onions and garlic to create the base of my soup that can be served in a few different ways.
ROASTED SPICY GARDEN🍅TOMATO AND SHRIMP SOUP
Yields 4 to 6 servings
- Sheet pan
- Olive Oil (approx 3 tablespoons)
- 5 Roma or vine ripened tomatoes (halved)
- 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes
- 1 medium yellow or white onion sliced
- 1 head of garlic sliced in half (through center cloves)
- 1- 2 small (about 3 in.) red Fresno or Serrano pepper
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup vegetable or chicken stock
- Fresh Basil (chiffonade: stack and roll leaves like a cigar and make thin slices)
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup heavy cream (optional)
- Red chili oil (optional)
- kosher salt & fresh ground pepper
- 8 oz. medium peeled and deveined shrimp (optional)
- a splash of white balsamic vinegar (optional – white will not change the beautiful color of the tomato and brings down the acidity of the tomatoes.)
Pre-heat oven 400 degrees F.
Place halved Roma or vine ripened tomatoes, grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced onion, and garlic on a sheet pan and evenly drizzle each area of the tray with approximately 2 to 3 tablespoons (total) with olive oil. Sprinkle from high above with about 1 teaspoon salt (helps salt evenly distribute) and freshly ground pepper. Roast in the oven for 25 to 35 minutes.
Place the roasted vegetables in a blender or food processor. Add 1/2 to 3/4 cup of vegetable or chicken stock and puree (amount depends on your desired thickness). Slice one red chili pepper and remove seeds. Tomatoes are very delicate, so I personally did want to blow away their sweet flavor with too much heat, but when it comes to spicy it’s a personal preference. My advice is to add a little at a time and test the flavor until it reaches your desired spiciness. Add chilis to the puree and blend until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste and a splash of white balsamic vinegar.
Heres where to options begin. The puree at this stage can be served in few ways.
- Option 1: 🍅 Serve at room temperature or transfer to a medium sauce pan to warm on a medium low heat; garnish with fresh sweet or spicy basil and a small drizzle of red chili oil. ( I use an eye dropper to disburse small droplets over the surface)
- Option 2: 🍅 Warm soup (from above). Add a 1/4 to 1/2 cup of heavy cream. Stir to blend evenly. Garnish with chiffonade basil.
- Option 3: 🍅 Follow option 2, and then add peeled and deveined medium shrimp and poach at a gentle simmer until shrimp curl (cooked). Add 1/4 cup basil and stir. To serve garnish with fresh basil, red chili oil droplets and (optional) a couple of slices of fresh red chili (to your heat preference).
Leftover soup can be refrigerated and rewarmed up to a few days. Perfect for a light but filling lunch, especially on a rainy day! I hope you give it a try and enjoy!