It’s January second and we’ve just returned from visiting family in Charleston, SC. While my Christmas decorations are still up (we leave them up until the Epiphany on January 6th), we’re back at work and the kids are getting ready to return to school. I’m also on deadline and it’s bitterly cold outside. That means I need something that will feed the cold and hungry and that won’t take me away from the keyboard for too long. So tonight’s dinner is Tomato Basil Soup. With roasted plum tomatoes, tons of basin and thyme, it’s a perfect dinner for busy people who still want to spend at least 30 minutes together in the evening to talk about their day yet go on to their evening events. (The kids. Not their parents. We don’t go anywhere. LOL)
This is an adapted version of Ina Garten's Tomato Basil soup. I love hers, but it was too acidic and spicy for my kids so I had to make some adjustments. My family loves this soup and even though it's one of the "hardest" recipes in the collection, the time is worth the effort. It mades a ton and the kids fight over who gets the leftovers for lunch. I serve this with a green salad, loaf of bread, and a block of cheddar cheese. Grilled cheese is great too. The soup tastes even better the next day!
15 minPrep Time
1 hr, 35 Cook Time
1 hr, 50 Total Time
- 3 lbs ripe plum tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise*
- 1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 -1 1/2 Tablespoons Kosher salt (depending on your preference)
- 2 cups chopped onions (about 2 onions)
- 6 garlic cloves, minced or 6 teaspoons jarred minced garlic (I use the jarred garlic to save time)
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
- 4 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme**
- 4 cups chicken stock
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet (with low sides) with aluminum foil.
- Toss the sliced tomatoes in a large bowl with the 1/4 cup olive oil and Kosher salt. Place the tomatoes on the baking sheet, cut side down, and roast for 40-45 minutes. (There will be smoke, but that's okay!)
- When the tomatoes are done, take them out of the oven and strip the skins off the tomatoes. Pour the roasted tomatoes, and all the remaining juices, in a glass bowl. Set aside.*
- Meanwhile, in a large stockpot over medium heat, saute the onions and garlic with the 2 Tablespoons oil and butter. Cook until the onions start to brown, about 25-30 minutes.
- Add the crushed tomatoes, roasted tomatoes, basil, thyme, and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 40 minutes.
- When done, take out the thyme sprigs. Using an immersion blender, blend the soup until smooth.
- Add more salt to taste. Can be served hot or cold.
*To save time at night, I often roast the tomatoes in the morning before going to work, or even the night before. I once roasted the tomatoes three days before, kept them tightly covered in the refrigerator, and it still tasted great. I also use jarred, minced garlic. I honestly can't tell the difference. And on busy, busy nights, I'll also use fresh, pre-chopped onions. All of that cuts down on the prep time. But the prep time listed assumes no pre-work has been done. **I love thyme and grow it in my garden. But if you don't like the flavor, use 2 sprigs or none at all.