Oh, gosh, folks. This is really, really good. I don’t even know how it worked out so exactly, but I nailed it. It takes some time, but most of that is hands off. Because of the simplicity of this, I can only determine that the result was so incredible because of the quality of the ingredients, not the cook. Fresh tomatoes, ripened on their vine in the sunshine, nearby. Delicious olive oil and real butter. Whole milk from well tended cows. The flavors developed from roasting, the combination of herbs, and the roux are unbeatable.
Don’t you just love this time of year? I’m so thankful for farmers!
This made a large pot of soup because I had a heap of ripe tomatoes and wanted to save pints for lunches this week. Halving the recipe would make this more reasonable for a lunch or dinner for four.
7 pounds tomatoes, stem base removed and halved
2 onions, peeled and cut into quarters
7 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 cup olive oil
1 Tbs salt
1 Tbs sugar
2 tsp dried basil
2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp marjoram
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup butter
6 cups whole milk
Preheat oven to 400°F. Place tomatoes, cut side up, on 2 large baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Add onion wedges and garlic cloves among the tomatoes. Drizzle with the olive oil. Roast until tomatoes are dark and tender, about 1 hour, stirring once or twice. Some tomato bits may be charred and the onions may be brown. These are good signs. Remove from the oven and cool slightly. Transfer tomatoes, garlic, and onions and any accumulated juices to a food processor or blender. Using on/off turns, process until slightly chunky. In a large pot over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the flour, stirring well, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in the milk, sugar, salt, and spices. Continue to cook and stir until slightly thickened. Stir the baking soda into the tomato mixture. This will keep the milk from curdling when the tomatoes are added. Add the tomatoes to the milk and bring just to a simmer. Remove from the heat, taste and correct seasonings. Eat hot and/or cool to room temperature before ladling into jars for the refrigerator. Reheat before serving.
This soup is divine on its own, but is especially well paired with some homemade croutons, a grilled cheese sandwich, or these perfect zucchini cornbread muffins.