Fall back comforts. Last Sunday at 2:00 AM, daylight savings time came to an end. We set our clocks back one glorious hour. And while 60 additional minutes may not seem like much, for me it’s like finding a forgotten $20 in an old wallet. A welcome occurrence by any measure.
Falling back is one of those traditions that I would describe as comforting. For one day I can grab life’s remote and hit pause to sleep in, catch up on some reading, take the dogs for a long walk or simply do nothing…even if it’s only for an extra hour.
It’s the same kind of comfort I get from familiar recipes. And seeing as I had a bonus hour at my disposal, I thought why not spend it making one of my favorite comfort foods – tomato soup.
Like setting the clock back when leaves give up their green for a blazing orange, red or yellow, tomato soup has a sense of unfailing nostalgia to it.
It’s dependable. Inviting. And uncomplicated.
Each spoonful sends a trickle of warmth throughout my body, inviting me to have another.
As you might suspect, it can be prepared eight ways to Sunday. And on this particular Sunday, I thought a little heat (both in temperature and flavor) would be a welcome twist. So I cranked up the oven for a good ol’fashioned roasting.
The list of ingredients is rather short. Tomatoes, one onion, a shallot, several cloves of garlic and a jalapeño (for a spicy kick). Simply drizzle the lot with a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar then roast until everything caramelizes. Oven roasting brings a whole new dimension to the party, giving the soup a heartier, rustic flavor.
In fact, it’s the kind of comforting flavor that I love falling back on time and again. Just like how I love falling back every first Sunday in November.
- 6 medium-sized tomatoes, rinsed and sliced in half (remove the hard stem part from top)
- 1 onion, peeled and sliced into 3 thick rounds
- 1 large shallot, peeled
- 3 – 4 large cloves of garlic, skin on
- 1 jalapeno, rinsed
- Olive oil
- Balsamic vinegar
For the soup
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ½ cup heavy cream or half & half
- Pre heat oven to 425º F.
- Place vegetables on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle them with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Place in oven and bake for 35 – 40 minutes, until vegetables have lightly browned and carmalized.
- When vegetables have carmalized, remove from oven and allow them to cool completely.
- Working in small batches, puree cooled vegetables and juices in blender or food processor and transfer to a stock pot. The garlic will be soft, simply squeeze it out into the blender and discard skin. NOTE – if you prefer a mild spice, use only ½ of the roasted jalapeno or cut it open and remove the seeds.
- Add chicken stock, stir to combine and bring to a gentle boil.
- Reduce heat and allow soup to simmer for about 20 or so minutes.
- At this point, taste and adjust seasoning to taste.
- Whisk in butter until it melts then slowly whisk in cream or half & half and let simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Serve topped with thyme croutons (cubed bread tossed in olive oil then dusted with crushed thyme and baked until golden brown) and/or topped with parmesan cheese.