It’s hard to beat the depth of flavour and sweetness you get from roasting tomatoes, but if it’s too hot to turn on the oven, a quick and simple sauté makes for a summer soup that is just as refreshing and delicious. In winter, don’t shy away from using cans of San Marzanos or look for fire-roasted tomatoes for maximum flavour.
2 lb/900 g roma tomatoes, cut into thirds, or 2 (28 oz/ 796 ml each) cans SanMarzano tomatoes with juices
1 red bell pepper, cut into large chunks
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp sugar
Salt + freshly cracked pepper
3 tbsp aged balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp butter
1 large sweet onion, chopped
4 cups chicken stock
½ cup chopped basil
Preheat the oven to 450 F.
Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
Arrange the tomatoes and peppers in a single layer on the prepared pan, drizzle with the olive oil, sprinkle with the sugar, and season with salt and pepper.
Toss to coat.
Roast for 20 minutes.
Drizzle with the balsamic and roast for another 10 minutes until the tomatoes are softened and caramelized.
In a large, heavy-bottomed stockpot over medium heat, melt the butter.
Add the onions and sauté for 10 minutes or until the onions are softened and light brown.
Season with salt and pepper.
Add the tomatoes and peppers, and sauté for 5 minutes.
Add the stock and bring to a boil.
Lower the heat and simmer until the vegetables are tender about 10 minutes.
Remove from the heat.
Using an immersion blender (or a blender, working in batches), purée until smooth.
To serve, ladle the soup into soup bowls, finish with basil, and season with salt and pepper.